September can be a challenging month for many teachers. You have to get back in that routine of being organized, being on top of everything going on in your class and getting things off to a good start. For myself, that challenge also included relearning a curriculum of a grade I had not been around in a few years, figuring out a new staff and admin. being that I was in a new school and most fun of all, new government assessments. There were a few unexpected hurdles thrown my way and things I was not quite ready for.
So on Friday night I was really not sure I wanted to go to EdcampPSD70 like I had intended for weeks. It was a new Edcamp being put on by many great people out in Parkland School Division. I knew a lot of people going, many of my friends were the ones that were putting it on and I had been looking forward to it. However, it had been a rough week for a variety of reasons and I thought that perhaps it was better to just lay low and stay home.
But that morning, my alarm went off and I made myself get out of bed and looking back now, I am so glad I made myself do this. Being surrounded by educators passionate about student learning was just the antidote to what was troubling me. I shared my love of Makerspace tools and was able to talk to other teachers about their ideas on how they could potentially use them in their own classrooms as well as give me even more ideas for my own use. I learned new ways to help my students with numbers in math because teachers got together and shared ideas and books they had used that were working in their own classrooms. I now had something I could walk into class with Monday morning to share with my kids. I did some really crazy group activities thought up by the inventive Felicia Ochs that again I saw had potential for using with my littles. But most importantly I renewed connections, I had a chance to talk to Rhonda Jessen about how #OLCMooc was going, I talked to Paige Brimacombe about things going on in our respective classrooms and planning future class connections. I also made new connections meeting Doug Kucher, a great teacher out of Tomahawk and we talked ipad Apps, Makerspace tools and even talked about connecting our classes for future Skype activities. I felt like I was home, I was with my people, people who got me, my passion for educating my students in ways that would bring out the best in them and loved this job as much as I do. And even though I was a wee bit surprised by Kelli Holden and Dana Ariss adding me to their amazing opening presentation, I loved hanging out with them throughout the day. I walked out of EdcampPSD rejuventated and passionate about my job again and that is what edcamps are all about. I thank the group at Parkland School Division for giving me the opportunity to do all the things above and can’t wait to see what they come up with next year.
So if you are looking to connect with educators, learn something new and even share a few things you have found that works in your classes, I suggest you check out Edcampyeg coming up on Oct. 18th or even check out the Ignite Session being put on by Dean Shareski here in Edmonton on Oct. 8th. Who knows you might even
find some “people” of your own.