Back in October of 2015, when I was interviewing for my current position, I brought up the idea of hosting an Edcamp in my district. Once I got the job I set out to build a committee of teachers and administrators who would be willing to make that vision a reality with me. I was able to recruit a core group of people to join the committee; only one of these people knew what an Edcamp was before our first meeting.
We held our first Edcamp at the end of August and it was great! But this post is not about our Edcamp. It’s about how to bring new ideas to educators who don’t realize what they don’t know.
The educators I work with are talented, hard-working, dedicated professionals who care about their students and their colleagues. They get up every morning ready to do their best on behalf of students. Most of my district had never heard of an Edcamp before this year. Does that make them unconnected? Out of touch? Resistant to change? Behind the times?
There are so many great ideas happening in schools across the world. It’s impossible to implement them all and do anything well. It’s also impossible to know everything that could happen in a school. Our jobs are hard enough without collapsing under the weight of all that we don’t yet know.
One of the reasons I love my job is that I have the privilege to facilitate new professional growth opportunities that educators might not otherwise know about. I get to take initiative to create new models of adult learning. I have the ability to use my own Social Media connections, professional organizations, and personal learning to expand my repertoire and bring ideas to my colleagues. We don’t have to know everything as individuals, but the value of collaboration is that collectively, we can all benefit from each other’s expertise. That is also the value of events like Edcamps, where the learning comes from within the group.
How do you facilitate professional growth opportunities for yourself or others?