Saturday mornings are meant for sleeping in and being lazy. November 5th was definitely an exception to my rule. I signed up for Edcamp because it sounded like a great opportunity for my Flexday and I heard that other fellow Tigers would be there. The day kicked off with breakfast pizza, coffee, and cookies. What a way to satisfy Maslow’s hierarchy of needs by filling our stomachs with food and stimulating our minds with caffeine. It was exactly what I needed before walking into my first session. I was surprised with the structure of (or lack thereof) Edcamp but it gave me the opportunity to write a discussion topic for a session. I went to Edcamp in the hopes of finding support and resources about effective questioning. The session was full of familiar Excelsior faces and also faces of new friends. We began with introductions and I was immediately followed on twitter and tweeted at by another educator! It was odd at first but then I realized how easy it would be to connect with others via twitter and the benefits that come with it. The conversation bounced around between critical thinking strategies, reasons for asking questions, and how to deal with students who “just don’t know”. I really appreciated others’ abilities to empathize with my struggles and are willing to help even though they just me. It was awesome to connect with middle school and elementary teachers who have much different experiences than I am having on a daily basis but it makes me appreciate my job.
Conversations throughout the rest of my sessions were centered around communication between special education and general education teachers, modification versus accommodation, how to help students who need it the most, brainstorming how to motivate and inspire students both academically and socially, and much more. The beautiful thing about Edcamp was that it was conversation between educators about what is happening in their classroom instead of a presentation. We were truly in charge of our own professional learning and even though I didn’t walk away with 1000 resources and the answers to my 100000 questions, I walked away with a burning passion to become a better teacher and a reminder of why I chose to teach. Educators teach because we all share the same passion. Whether you are a paraprofessional, a special education teacher, an AP government teacher, or in charge of 25 7th graders, you wake up everyday for the kids. Not because we enjoy lesson planning, filling our veins with caffeine to stay standing, or stressing about the possible failure of an activity but because we genuinely care about the success and futures of each and every student. I was reminded that even the seemingly unmotivated student who could care less about school needs someone in their corner. One person can make a huge impact on the life of that student and a difference can be made. All the tears, struggles, sleepless nights, and panicked mornings will all be worth it one day when a student comes back and thanks you for never giving up and caring about them. I teach to make a difference and am thankful for #edcampKC for reminding me of that.
This is a resource build by the ESSD40 staff for to aid in transforming teaching and learning.
Inspire. Empower. Challenge.
Learning Out loud