Today was a great reminder to me about the many positives in education!
I awoke early on a Saturday went to my brother-in-laws house to pick up my 15- year old niece, Rylee. She has hopes of becoming a teacher some day, so we made plans to attend Edcampou at Oakland University together. Sure I was tired and thinking about how long I could attend the even due to a noon baseball game for my son. It was a dreary cold morning and my niece was silent as we drove the 30-minutes to Oakland University listening to country music. It was a tough week at work, I was just hoping to show Rylee what an edcamp was like. I got so much more.
Upon arrival I was meet with the friendly faces of my PLN, hugs and handshakes. I was quickly reminded of the power of being a connected educator. As the atrium of Pawley Hall filled, it filled with the POSITIVE in education. 200 teachers came from all over the metro-Detroit area to discuss education. To share ideas and philosophies with each other. We came together to support each other in our careers of educating the future. As I was picking up a bagel and getting coffee I saw a face from my teaching past. Jason a student from my first year of teaching (15 yrs ago) approached with his recent bride, both teachers. So great to see a former student joining our ranks and being a passionate educator.
After the kick-off, It was time to attend one session before heading off to my son’s baseball game. I wanted to attend a session Rylee would find interesting as a student. SO, we headed to one discussing HOMEWORK. Rylee sat and listened as the conversation started. Once she noticed that the audience participated (not lecture!) she got the urge to jump in and share how pointless packets of homework are for students since “we Google the answers or take pictures of them and send around a group text.” The participants in the room appreciated her input. The discussion moved towards creating meaningful assignments that students WANT to complete versus creating a culture of compliance. The passion in the room was evident.
When the session ended, Rylee shared that she wished her teachers were in attendance so they could possibly change their homework. We talked about teaching and learning all the way to the ball fields.
After baseball, I returned home to virtually catch up on Edcamp by viewing tweets. It was great seeing all the positive vibes, resources and ideas shared. Every teacher needs to be reminded about the positives that are in education today. The media and politicians seem to always drag us down and focus on the problems in education or society as a whole. Events like Edcamps serve as reminders that there are so many AWESOME things going on in our schools.
It would serve ALL media and POLITICIANS well to attend an Edcamp and report about what is going on, changing the focus from negative to POSITIVE!! I need to take this advice at time too!
Thanks for the awesome reminders EDCAMPOU participants and organizers.