Advocating for an informed teacher voice in determining what's best for children.
On April 13th, Buffalo hosted it first EDcamp–an entirely teacher-led professional development experience. EBB teacher and Board Member Joy Blake attended and had this to say:
On Saturday, April 13th, I was pleasantly surprised by the EdCamp that was located at Cansius College. I first heard about the EdCamp at an Educators for a Better Buffalo meeting and then during the week I received an email from my Instructional Leader about it, so I decided to check it out. EdCamp’s are known for being “unconferences” and that’s exactly what it was. The only thing that was structured/scheduled was the session times and the locations of the sessions other than that all the session topics were determined by the people in attendance at the camp on the day of the camp. Some of the session topics that were chosen were Mindfulness, Classroom Management, and Being “In the Know” with Technology. Once I registered I received a GoogleDoc that was updated with all the session topics, their times and their locations. Everything was paperless and you needed either a laptop or a smartphone really to fully participate. I went to three sessions. Two were about implementing technology in the classroom and another one was about the Common Core Standards. It was cool to find people with common interests and be able to discuss these interests together with them freely. There was no facilitator or “leader” for any of the sessions. Everyone who was in the room formed our chairs into a circle and then just began to discuss and learn from each other. I definitely would go to an EdCamp event again. It was nice to be at an event organized by teachers, with teacher-centered focus. I felt like this event definitely gave me more of a voice and a choice on what I learned about that day. It was different from a “usual” PD or conference and I liked being able to share what I know with like-minded individuals. This was the first EdCamp ever to come to Buffalo. There still are a few kinks that need to be worked out but overall it was a great event that can only get better.