Until January 28 I had no idea that peace and tranquility was a new movement in education. I learned this at Edcamp Savannah in a session called Student Ninjas facilitated by a high school history teacher. For those of you who are new to EdCamps let me start from the beginning and work up to session boards. When you arrive, plan to mingle over coffee and pastries, catching up with friends from other schools and admiring the bright and colorful Middle Learning Commons. Friendly faces will great you at the registration table and provide nametags. You are encouraged to bring teacher-friends.
It’s a good idea to add your Twitter or Instagram handle, or email address to your nametag for easy sharing. You will be called to order at 8:30 and welcomed officially. The EdCamp methodology will be clarified for the group and you will all be called to action. It may feel too early in the morning on a Saturday to think, but this is actually the best part of EdCamp. It’s where the ideas emerge and creativity is displayed. You get to come up with topics to add to the session board.
You see, no sessions are scheduled in advance. You may have something in mind before you attend; topics such as Things That Suck are classics. Just look at this Haiku Deck, called Building Sessions and you will have a better understanding of the process and inherent opportunities. Once the board is full, the sessions begin promptly at 9:00AM. They run in increments of 25 and 50 minutes, allowing time for transitions. At noon we all meet back in the Commons to share highlights and share giveaways. We wrap it all up by 1PM. You may even want to extend the experience by making a lunch date with some new friends, but like everything else at EdCamp, that’s up to you.
Returning to my original thought, Peace and tranquility in the noisy world of STEAM and PBL does make sense to provide balance and think time for the learning to happen. Maybe someone will post a topic about the value of quiet in the classroom at EdCamp Atlanta. Maybe we’ll all meet one new person and take home one new idea to use in the classroom. We’re all there for the same reason in the end. We’re there to become even better educators, to grow our craft so we can continue to provide our students with the very best educational experiences. -by Kathy Shields
image credit: "Barn Owl" Georgia Sharp licensed by CC NC 2.0
EdCampATL on Flickr