Yesterday I attended EdcampOKC at Del City High School. I had a great time catching up with my educator friends and meeting new ones. Edcamps are a great way to connect with others and to learn from one another. I even helped an edcamp newbie write a session and then facilitate it. It was awesome to see the power of self-empowerment happen!
The two morning sessions were great and I really enjoyed the conversations. One was about classroom management, the other on teaching middle school. In the classroom management session, I learned how we need to better prepare new teachers tips about managing their classroom, especially when stepping in mid school year. We can do better.
The second session was one I facilitated and we just talked about teaching middle school and how to help them be more successful. It was mostly talking about student behavior and getting work turned in. Again, a great session.
Then lunch time hit.
The afternoon was much different. I felt lost and I didn’t know what session to go into. I stepped into a couple and I felt as if the conversations were not geared helping each other, but more of complaining. I had to step out. I ended up leaving early and heading home.
During the hour drive home, I started to get depressed. Am I over edcamps? Are they no longer for me? Why did I feel lost?
As I thought about it, I had the chance to talk to a good friend about the situation. What I figured out is that I love the edcamp model. I have attended over 20 edcamps (I’ve actually lost count), which has helped me create many lasting connections and friendships. I wouldn’t give that up! However, I don’t think it’s where I am to go to learn.
You see, I’ve empowered myself throughout attending all the edcamps to search out what I want for my classroom. I don’t need anyone telling me to do this and to read this, I seek it out myself. I use Twitter to find new things to read and blog posts to try new things in my classroom. In fact, I’m looking and changing my classroom so much next year that I won’t even recognize it.
More on that later, back to my thought yesterday.
I am one of the original founders for EdcampKS because I know it’s a great place to make connections and to learn from your peers. I also head up the edcamp for my school district for teachers to learn new ideas and to share. I know the power edcamps have and I have loved every moment I have attended one.
However, they are not the place for me to learn.
You see, I think I have things to share. I know I’m not the know-it-all (some may think that), but I’m not. I’m always finding new ways to try things. In fact, I just finished Hacking Project Based Learning by Ross Cooper and Erin Murphy. It was a huge slap in the face. I know I don’t use PBL as I should and I always make excuses. However, this book helped me realize I need to make just a few changes.
Would I have gotten this out of an edcamp? Probably not.
See, there are many who attend edcamps who have no idea even where to start. I was there once. I needed edcamps to get information and find connections to help myself improve. But I don’t need them as I once did.
Am I going to stop attending them? Of course not! Will I attend every single one possible? Of course not.
I will continue to attend Edcamps to share my knowledge of information, but I do not need to be there to learn. Yes, I will learn while I’m there, but I won’t be learning in the same capacity as I once did at them. My path of learning is changing and taking me in new and exciting places.
Yesterday afternoon as rough as I felt I couldn’t do anything. Today, I’m ready to see the new path and head off in a different direction.