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CUE Rock Star: The Experience

Written by CUE Professional Learning Program Specialist Juli Kimbley @julikimbley

Rock Star Manhattan Beach 2014- Photo by Jeanne Reed

Are you the one lone nut in your school? Do you feel like you just don’t fit in? What happens when that one lone nut meets another and then another? A Rock Star Teacher community is formed. And it’s not just for teachers – educators of all levels are welcome!

What is CUE Rock Star?

Rock Star Teacher Camp is about changing education through technology by building an ever-expanding group of tech-oriented educators. It has been an awesome experience to watch CUE Rock Star develop since the first camp at Minarets High School six years ago. The friendships that were started then are some of my closest friends today.

There are three days of shred sessions, two-hour hands-on make and take sessions and a ratio of 10:1 attendee to approachable faculty and out of this world rock star teachers. This is part of what makes CUE Rock Star Teacher Camp more than just an event. It is an experience.

Have you ever read the description in a program and still did not have any idea what the presentation was going to be about? A shred session gives the presenter one to two minutes to ‘sing for their supper’ and tell you why you should go to their session. Attendees see the presenters’ style and can more effectively choose where they need to go.

The brain can only handle so much information before overload. The longer lunch allows for presenters and attendees to process what they have just learned.

Why CUE Rock Star?

With only 100 spaces available, attendees enjoy a 10:1 attendee to faculty ratio. There is built in socialization time to help build connections. This part of what makes this event. CUE Rock Star founder, Jon Corippo, inspired Saugatuck, MI Lead, Andy Losik. According to Losik: “The positive energy from our all-star faculty and the voracious appetite for more ideas from our 100 attendees was absolutely infectious. I had one goal at the top of my list and that was to treat teachers like they have never been treated before. We sweated the small stuff to create a great environment but the magic really came from the real rock stars, the attendees who not only took our presenters’ knowledge and ran with it but formed new collaborative relationships and left invigorated to tackle the coming school year.”

Alice Chen, Manhattan Beach Lead, stated that one of the most important things is the community that CUE Rock Star fosters. The after hours activities give educators the chance to get to know one another and bond in a setting that is outside of the classroom. This allows for the ‘what if’ conversations between attendees and presenters that would not normally happen. It is here when you realize that you are the rock star teacher, just as much as the presenter you are talking to is.

The connections that teachers are making are very vital to keeping teaching practices fresh and current. One attendee said that they were so excited to be able to connect with like-minded people; no longer do they feel alone.

Rock Star attendee Hal Raines stated it so enthusiastically, “We are EXCITED TO LEARN about how kids think and how we can EMPOWER our learners! CUE Rock Star camps are a fantastic place to question, try out, and not be judged — I mean, we are all teachers. We aren’t supposed to judge others as “stupid.” At times, ego gets in the way and we sit on questions we need answered. This is the best way to do the work of teacher/facilitator learning and growth.”

CUE Rock Star camps seek to improve the craft of teaching, with community, hands-on learning and more teacher-presenters. If you want to leave empowered then CUE Rock Star is for you.

For more information please go to CUE’s Rock Star website.

Juli Kimbley is a Professional Learning Program Specialist for CUE after spending several years supporting CVCUE (Central Valley CUE). She is passionate about learning and works to maintain relevance in the classroom by teaching a rock star style math class in Fresno.

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