Thursday, July 3, 2014
I am shocked and pleased and shocked that I even get to write this post. Never, from when I first started writing the book to when I first started #WeirdEd, did I imagine the kind of connections that would be made.
#WeirdEd, in its 12 weeks of life, has grown faster and wilder than I every foresaw. The response has been overwhelmingly positive thanks, I'm quite sure, to the amazing early adopters who knew exactly the tone (anti-edchat) I was going for and who every week manage to keep it light and fun while also bringing the professional knowledge and experience in spades. It's an tricky line to balance and every week I'm shown that there are more Weird-minded teachers out there craving something a little different, a little off center, than any of us knew.
The biggest (honestly, only) complaint I've ever received about #WeirdEd is the time. 7pm Pacific Standard Time. Why is it at 7PST? Because I teach all day and want to work out and have a wife and small human who need my attention. I realize that makes it ok for west coasters, decent for those in the central time zones, and very late for our east coast friends. But what am I gonna do? The time works for me and I'm the moderator. East coasters, unfortunately, will have to either miss out or stay awake past their bed times.
But now, with how big we've grown, I want to try an experiment. I want to broaden the reach of #WeirdEd. Read the subtitle of the blog. This is the hub of my ever-expanding educational empire. So, at the risk of diluting the water or over-extending my reach (something I've always done because even when I come up short I still reach farther than I thought), I'm announcing #WeirdEdE.
Yes, #WeirdEd East, but that takes too many precious characters so just #WeirdEdE will be the hashtag. I love and respect my East coast (and tired Central) friends and I want their input as well. So #WeirdEdE will bring #WeirdEd's fun and philosophy to an untapped wealth of knowledge.
#WeirdEdE will take place every Weds at 7EST. Hopefully this makes it easy to remember. Same day, same time, just change the time zone. #WeirdEd is at 7PST, #WeirdEdE is at 7EST.
Obviously I'm not mod-ing this chat. I can't. 4PST will never work for me. I'm lucky if I've left school by then. Like Wonka, I had to find someone to care for the candy factory. And I knew just the person. She's smart, funny, and understands the #WeirdEd philosophy as well as I do. She's been on board since Day One and was instrumental in talking me into starting the chat in the first place.
Samantha Bates (@sjsbates) will be the mod for #WeirdEdE. She's in TN, which gives her the geographic bonafides, and is completely trustworthy. In the #WeirdEd Jaeger she is my co-pilot and we are in the Drift.
I will still be writing all the Qs (now with more of Sam's input) and writing the overview blogs. Sam will be ringleading #WeirdEdE. The Qs for both chats will be exactly the same.
I have no idea how well this will work. I do need your help. Please spread the word to the right coast twitterers you know, tell them there's a new chat in town, #WeirdEdE, at 7EST. If it fails and no one comes, we'll push on for a few weeks. If it still doesn't fly, then we tried.
Thanks for making #WeirdEd so awesome. Without incredible participants it's just me talking out loud to myself and making myself laugh.