Back in December, I thought it would be a great idea if I could get out of my hometown and meet people from all walks of life and see what they have to say about education. I wrote a post about it and thought it would be neat but nothing I would be able to do.
The idea would not get out of my head so I did some talking to some friends, and they were very supportive of the idea. I got my friend Tim on board and we are going to be driving to California from Indiana.
The #EduTour13 is my attempt to burst the bubble I feel I live in as an educator. Twitter has helped me bend the bubble and possibly extend it, but I really want to hear from people who have nothing to do with education. I want to drive across the country and just chat with people. I want to know what they think of the education they received and what they think of the education their kids are receiving now.
It is too easy for many of us to just listen and speak in the vacuum of Twitter. I decided it would be a good idea to get out and not only talk to people, but listen. I feel there is still so much I do not know about being a teacher after 10 years and I want to connect with as many people as possible to learn what I can.
Thoreau wrote, “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion” (Thoreau).
Getting in my car with a friend and driving across the country to meet people and have conversations is exactly what this means to me. This trip will make me a better teacher because I will be learning from others. I hope this trip can make others better because I will be sharing these conversations with the world around me.
I feel that bursting the bubble is important for me to continue my growth as an educator. I am lucky to have the support of my family and some great sponsors that are helping me make this adventure possible. As educators, we need to continue to push ourselves to be better. If we stop growing, we are failing the students that come into our classroom.
If you will be in the area of Kansas City, Denver, Salt Lake City or San Francisco at the end of July, take a minute and say hello. I would love to know what I can learn from you and maybe you can take away something from me.
Nicholas Provenzano is a high-school English teacher and a technology-curriculum specialist for the Grosse Pointe Public School System in Michigan. He has a master’s degree in educational technology from Central Michigan University and is a regular presenter for the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning and ISTE. When he is not writing on his blog or tweeting @TheNerdyTeacher, he is working on an educational e-zine and a free “unconference,” Edcamp Detroit. He also blogs for Edutopia on the value of technology in education.