Last year I had my first encounter with an EdCamp. A colleague approached me and mentioned that she was interested in attending a local EdCamp and I actually was looking into going right when she mentioned it. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I’m glad that I got myself into it!
I arrived at Mentor High School and was already impressed to see so many educators gathered on a Saturday morning, willingly being present to further their craft as educators. This was not forced professional development, but rather a true desire to work, learn, and share with other educators to develop professionally.
Today, I am at #EdCampCLE. It’s a morning of gathering and bringing new ideas into classrooms around the Cleveland area…Columbus and Pittsburgh, too! A great thing about EdCamps is that you will never know what will want to be discussed until you get there. You discover the interests of the educators that are there and begin to develop and discuss ways to better yourself and others. Now, I am not the perfect teacher (far from it!) but I am one that is willing to share what I know and do with others and I am willing to learn from others who are willing and ready to share what they know!
EdCamps, or the “unconference” as they are known, allow teachers to learn and build on their interests. Nobody tells teachers what they have to learn. Nobody tells teachers that this is how things have to be. EdCamps allow teachers to grow where they feel they need to grow. They allow educators to connect with other educators and build connections. This allows educators to build relationships and further their own knowledge. This allows educators to model the educational style that should be utilized in classrooms. Be a facilitator and have students build on the strengths and weaknesses that each have and grow as a community.
I have had the pleasure of attending 5 EdCamps. I have made many great connections from these experiences and I would highly recommend you attend one. Don’t be afraid to share. Don’t be afraid to connect. Be that culture change in your school. Be the driver of change. Be a risk taker. Be an EdCamper!