I admit I have a problem. I suffer from FOMO - the fear of missing out. Not really, but sometimes it feels like it! I know I can’t be everywhere all the time and I have to find a balance between life and work - I know all of this. But when I get on Twitter and I see people in my PLN doing awesome things and attending great events I just want to be there with them!
Friday night while reading through my Twitter feed and I saw a post from @Glynn_ed saying that #EdcampELA in Poway was Saturday morning and not sold out! Well Poway only about a 7 minute drive from me and I wanted to go. I asked my wife if she was ok with taking both of our girls to dance class so I could attend another edcamp...not reminding her I am going to #EdcampOC in two weeks :) She said yes - but asked why I wanted to go to an ELA edcamp when I teach science and am now a technology TOSA. I didn’t really have an answer other than my FOMO condition!
So I registered on EventBright and I was ready to attend! I arrived a little late Saturday morning - I was trying to get the kids ready for dance to make things easier for my wife. I sat down and immediately recognized 5 other people from my Twitter PLN - one of which is the mom of a girl in my daughter’s dance class (we were both ditching dance for edcamp)! We were asked to chat with the people at our table and I made quick friends with @SharmilaKraft and @EUSDLeighangela We were talking so much none of us got to the session board to put up a session! I was hoping to put up a design thinking session, but it didn't happen. But in perfect edcamp fashion it was filled by others:
Image from @JenRoberts1
The first session I attended as Leadership Supporting Teachers with CCSS. I learned that admin are working hard to help teachers...and teachers are working hard to help students - but we are not all really sharing our ideas. It was very interesting to hear from people from the classroom all the way to assistant superintendents - we are all trying to do the same thing, help students succeed.
taking a selfie between sessions!
My second session was Primary CCSS ELA. I sat in on this session since I am a science and technology teacher. I wanted to hear what people are doing for this monster in front of us - CCSS. Most teachers felt they were behind because they are just not starting to get resources for Common Core, and they still need to go through them, modify them to fit their needs and teach the students! I left this session with a great respect for all ELA teachers.
Session three was about Writing (I can’ remember the exact title). I sat through it thinking that blogging would be a great tool for these teachers - but when I brought it up they let me know they don’t have the technology for the kids. Most teachers in the room only had 1 or 2 iPads and maybe a few computers. We talked about how they could do a class blog or try to do Google Docs to start - or even start with a paper blog. @JenRoberts1 shared @lindayollis’s class blog and shared ideas on how they can do something similar. Again, I left the session with a great respect for ELA teachers and how they are working hard to make students better writers!
Time for the last session of the day - Subtext (I know @HollyClarkEdu would be proud!), iPad and the Global Read Aloud. We talked about several other great apps for students also - NewsELA, DOGO News and Tween Tribune. Again, just another chance to meet with other teachers to hear how and why they use these tools in their classrooms.
At the end they had a modified “SLAM” session and gave away several books and prizes. Everyone at my table won something! But that was fine - I was there to meet people, hear what they had to say and get a better insight to the world of ELA. A huge thank you to @Glynn_ed and @Dicarlo_edu who I know were two members of the organization team. Overall it was a great day - and even though I had to do the dishes, make the bed and do laundry when I got home - it was worth it! Another big thank you to Poway Unified and Midland Elementary for putting on this specialized edcamp!