To tell this story we have to go back a full month before the actual start. Matthew Larson was finishing a Voxer book study with Sean Gaillard and Dr. Neil Gupta on The Power of Moments and the facilitators issued a challenge to the members of the group...grow and continue the learning. They suggested hosting your own Voxer book study. Matt immediately went back to his #bookcamppd Voxer group and talked about the challenge issued and one of the members suggested he conduct a study on a book about revolutionizing professional development-how fitting. Matt immediately contacted the author of The Four O'Clock Faculty, Rich Czyz, about the possibility and Rich was completely on board.
There was no telling how many people were going to join this group or even how active it would actually be. Then the requests started coming in to join the group. AND THEY KEPT COMING! At one point several members asked how many people were in the group. Somebody responded they stopped counting at 100! There were many contributors and many lurking learners. The conversation was powerful, fast-paced, idea-laden, and operating at maximum power. During the last week and a half of the study many members expressed interest in continuing the group after the study was officially over just to talk about education. Thus, a family was born.
The ideas, relationships, and discourse that had taken place over the previous four weeks was dynamic. This all started in January 2018 and the group is still thriving and firing on all cylinders. We not only discuss EVERYTHING education, seriously we "wrestle to the ground" (Laura Steinbrink's words) everything from play and recess to unions to starting our school, but we share our personal lives. There has been a support network formed within the group where members can share the ups and downs from their home lives and know, undoubtedly, that the family around them will rally and support (it's like we have our own version of the Bat symbol).
We have seen our family members move cities, move laterally in their career, and move "up" (whatever that means in education). The growth that occurs as both a direct and indirect result of the relationships built within our group cannot be underestimated and will never be overrated.