EdCampMadWI was the first time that I had a major role in planning an EdCamp. I was a volunteer at others, so I was able to attend all sessions. However, this time, I had to make sure that all of the food was set up, so I wasn’t able to attend many sessions. I was able to pop into a few sessions and ask questions or give advice, but it was a much different experience than I’ve had in the past. Yet, it didn’t bother me one bit that I couldn’t participate in the discussion as much because so many of my colleagues were there! They were in sessions sharing their knowledge and learning. The experience motivated them, and they finally stopped looking at me funny when I profess my love of EdCamp. Like many others, they felt motivated and enjoyed their day.
|Marshall High School staff members at EdCamp. |
I'm running around in the back somewhere.
Since so many of my colleagues were there, the inevitable discussion came up of how to make in-service more like an EdCamp. My principal kept pushing back in the discussion with the main argument that at an in-service, there is not intrinsic motivation of the teachers to learn. At EdCamp, everyone is there because they want to be. The want to be there cannot be recreated at an in-service. I’m not sure how much I agree with that statement. In one-on-one discussions, I think everyone wants to be good at their job. Teachers should be willing to learn new things or have discussions on how to make things better. Isn’t it possible to have expectations that they will discuss? My principal was open to the idea, as he had a good day at EdCamp, but accountability always seems to get in the way of meaningful in-service. If you have any ideas on this, please leave a comment below.
This blog post wouldn’t be complete without the mention of my awesome co-planners. Jess started organizing during lunch at EdCamp Oskosh. She put it out on Twitter and Pernille, Kaye, and I got on board. It was a little overwhelming to be thanked by so many of the participants (I also got an offer to be the number caller at the next church bingo event). I’m glad that I was able to help people come together for a day to learn from each other. Really, I should be thanking all of the attendees because that is the power of an EdCamp. I just made sure you all were fed.
I am so glad I was able to meet the effervescent you at EdCampMadWI! And then I was able to learn about many others who have Genius Hour in their classrooms! Oh, how exciting!
As for PD... What if each staff member, prior to the day, filled out a Google form, asking for a certain session? Then organizers could set up the schedule. They could also put on the form what they do well, or something new they've tried recently, then they could be "point people" at one of the sessions, as well (as long as the schedule person doesn't schedule what they want and what they're point person on at the same time). Is this too much? I've never scheduled anything like this, so I wouldn't know. People throughout the day could sign in to the sessions they attend, covering the accountability issue.Just a suggestion!