I attended an Edcamp in St Vrain District on Saturday. It was my first event like this, so going in I did not really have any concrete expectations.
So, what is EdCamp? It is a gathering of teachers and educators who come to network, discuss and problem solve. At the beginning, there is a blank google doc with a public link, people within the group fill in the spots. There are five columns and 10 or so rows, the rows represent rooms within the school and the columns time slots. If you have a topic you would like to discuss with your peers, problem solve or get new ideas, you enter it in the slot. Then people of like interests go to that room and discuss the topic for an hour or so.
My role was to be a fly on the wall. I was there to listen and absorb, but was not without comment toward the end of the conference.
I feel rather lucky that I was able to sit in on some very important art ed conversations. We talked about Modified Choice, Assessment in Art, Process over product and what that really looks like, Motivation, Modeling, and talking to learners about their work. There were many side conversations that happened as well. Truly an informative day.
For me, the portion of the day with the most impact was seeing these productive conversations happen. How engaged my peers were at problem solving, teaching one another, making suggestions for further understanding. I will definitely be attending more EdCamps in the future.
Throughout my semester of student teaching I am required to attend quite a few seminars. First by Colorado State University and by the district I am teaching in. They are separate and cover different topics. Both have been informative and helpful to round out the experience. The CSU seminars are a great resource for peer reflection, seeing and hearing how my peers are doing in their placements. The problems or celebrations that they are experiencing, how they are managing them, and getting suggestions for my own. It is really valuable. The district seminars are specific information about district topics. Such as hiring process, policies, tech specific, and also support.
In this respect I feel that I have landed in a very supportive district. There are some things that I have been made aware of that questions that theory but none that I am concerned about. Both experiences have been really helpful and informative so far.
This has been the heaviest portion of student teaching. I understand how important it is to plan out your lessons, it has proven to be a very valuable skill and I am appreciative of the time spent learning how. I have felt however that the unknown variable keeps popping up. There really needs to be a lot of flexibility in your planning and how you execute the plan. These variables could be anything from time to threats, fired drills and pep rallies. Thus far, I have had to rewrite my plans, reschedule lessons or just not deliver them in favor of some other concept or preparatory technique. You have to be fluid, rigidity has little place in this profession.
The most difficult thing I am facing currently is time. My time is almost finished at the high school level and I am just starting to feel comfortable there. I know all of my learner's names, in two weeks I will be back at not knowing any. It is a really difficult way to go about it, but it will be fine.
Word of focus for the next few months: FLEXIBILITY