EdCampLDR Phoenix Reflections

INTRO

#EdCampLDRPhoenix was yesterday. I was mostly there. Mostly? Read on.

EDCAMPLDR

EdCampLDR is a gathering of people involved with and interested in K-12 school leadership. The way I understand it Joe Mazza of the Graduate School of Education at Penn started it as a way to get people talking about the challenges and opportunities facing primary and secondary education today. There were several EdCampLDR sessions held on July 10 and 13 across the United States and China.

MOSTLY

I say I was mostly at EdCampLDR because I recently started reading The Achievement Habit by Bernie Roth. I started reading it last week. It has me reflecting on how my thoughts affect my doing. I have been to a lot of EdCamps the last two years, 23 I think. I’ve met lots of educators and learned tons about educational technology and its application to engage students. In one sentence EdCamps are free meetups of educators where know-how is exchanged.

Periodically during the day my thinking wandered off and made connections with what I was learning and the book. I started reforming some ideas about how I could make my work a little more interesting while helping educators with their professional development.

RELATIONSHIPS

Teaching is about relationships: teacher, students, parents, stakeholders, learners coming together and engaging.

There was a lot of engaging. I got to deepen my understanding of the issues facing educators. Some of what I heard included inconsistent or absent curriculum, disconnects between what was being taught and what would be needed once students graduated, availability of educational technology, and ways of teaching.

I also heard about resources, including the elephant in the room: time. How do teachers develop professionally when they’re as busy as they are? I learned that, in Arizona schools at least, PD (professional development) organized by the schools or their districts happens three times per school year: beginning, middle, and towards the end. That’s one day three times per year.

I had an amazing talk with two teachers during a Teach Like A Pirate session. We talked about ways to engage students andhow to use design thinking to plan lessons. I also got to try out Periscope to stream the EdCampLDR experience out to people following #NotAtEdCampLDR.

NO EXCUSES

One of the classes at Chandler High School, where #EdCampLDRPhoenix was held, had the sign below hanging on a wall.

It brought me up short when I saw it. The thing from the book about meaning came to mind. How things (and thoughts) have no meaning until they’re brought to life by doing something with them.

OUTRO

Anyway, time for me to get busy working on what this meaning means to me.

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