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The teachers showed up at 8:00AM, sat down and prepared as though they’d be sitting for the next 3 hours watching slides on the big presentation screen listening to a laundry list of what they would be required to know in the new school year. However, the large orange display with conference sessions, a keynote speaker and familiar topics displayed on 3×5 cards, caught their eye.
I began their very first day back by letting them know that i was committed to making professional development both meaningful and personalized this year, and that I had attended a couple “unconferences” and was prepared to share my learning with them today. Below, I’m sharing teacher feedback and pictures of the experience. Needless to say, I’ll be providing these experiences whenever the administration gives principals “building time” in future Teacher In-Service Days.
|KnappCamp12 “Big Board” complete & ready to begin|
|Teachers sign up to “lead a discussion”|
|Session notes from SIOP discussion|
|17 year-old Nikhil Goyal kicks off the KnappCamp12 Keynote|
|Following the Keynote on Maximizing Student Voice, Nikhil answers questions from the Knapp staff|
Teacher Feedback KnappCamp12
- “KnappCamp” was great. It was a good way to get people involved and learning about topics that they are particularly interested in!
- “Great idea! We should do this more often. Great to learn from each other in a non-threatening environment.”
- “Knapp Camp was empowering and it left me feeling like a respected professional allowing me to choose what I wanted to learn about today.”
Read all 20+ teacher comments posted on a Today’s Meet here.
We’re talking about creating a KnappCamp teacher leadership team that meets and plans these experiences throughout the school year. Finally, I left the display up to explain to members of our Home & School Association, and we’ve already begun plans to offer a “ParentCamp” for parents & teachers later this school year. Session topics might include Starting a family blog, Digital Citizenship, Twitter 101, Facebook 101, 10 best resources to bookmark at home and more. Parents were excited at the thought of hosting a large un-conference, as well as come together to build relationships from within our school/district community. The possibilities are quite endless when you think about removing traditional mindsets.
For a district example of unconference or EdCamp style PD, see Patrick Larkin’s Burlington Public School’s BPSCON2012.