Sunday, September 14, 2014
Edcamp or Bust!
Once you attend an edcamp, you'll never get the same feeling of inspiration from regular PD. Even though most districts haven't jumped on this train, there are a few ways you can put on the conductor's hat and direct it yourself.
This year, I am starting small...with my 5th grade colleagues. As team leader, I decided to try and run our team meetings in edcamp fashion. As long as we do not have an assigned agenda (data team), this is my plan.
Before the meeting:
I'll remind my team to think of what they need/want to discuss. Also, I will ask them to bring an idea to share with the team related to a topic (for example, an engagement strategy).
I'll send out the short agenda of "must discuss" items.
During the meeting:
For the first 15 minutes, we'll tackle those "must discuss" items, and then set them aside.
Then, it's edcamp time!
We'll excitedly share out the ideas and possible topics we want to discuss related to teaching craft, reaching specific students, or specific curriculum/tech strategies.
Collectively, we'll decide on the agenda and a timeframe for each item.
For the next 30 minutes, we'll enjoy sharing and learning from each other.
For the final 10 minutes, we will each share the idea we brought related to our topic (example was an engagement strategy).
That's a wrap!
What I loved about edcamp was the ability to learn and share what I needed and what was relevant to me that day. I loved learning new ideas and sometimes problem-solving an issue with others in similar situations. I loved that teachers could be both givers and receivers of learning, even in the same session. I loved that I was not expected to "sit and get" from a menu that may or may not fit my diet.
Although not exactly an edcamp, structuring team meetings this way is my contribution to the larger picture of teacher-led PD. Right now, I've grabbed my own conductor hat. I hope to pick up steam and ride this momentum toward a more collaborative, happy and productive year with my fabulous colleagues!
I'm positive that it will be a change for the better! The most effective leaders lead their team by working alongside them.