Every time that I get thinking about EdcampELA, I get so excited. I'm excited about how much I'm going to learn, how much I hope to teach others, and how many fellow educators I'm going to get the opportunity to meet!
Okay, maybe I'm jumping ahead of myself a little bit.
So, what is EdcampELA? Well, EdcampELA is the brain child of my good friend Kristy Louden (@kmkteach). While we were sitting together at EdcampBirmingham, she looked at me and threw out an idea: let's do this for English teachers.
Edcamps are an amazing experience for professional development. I'm one of those odd birds that genuinely enjoys PD. I like to sit there and listen to other teachers talk. I love to read "teacher books" and then join book clubs about them. I check Twitter on a daily basis for any new educational information that I can get my hands on.
But none of these things, not one of them, compares to Edcamp.
What's so great about Edcamp is that it's an "unconference," which basically just means that the day is open to those who are there. There are no sessions; no keynote speakers. There are no definite schedules to follow; no defined "lesson to learn." It's all up to the people that show up. The attendees are the speakers, the teachers, and the learners. All in one day, you get to play all of the roles! It's amazing.
So the day goes a little something like this:
At about 8 am, you arrive at Edcamp. When you get there, you're given a chance to mix, mingle, and most importantly, check out The Board. The Board is a literal board (either a whiteboard/chalkboard or a virtual board) that attendees use to create and check out the schedule of sessions for the day. There are usually about 5 sessions throughout the day with multiple choices offered during those sessions. You might have one about Twitter, one about Tellegami, and one about GAFE all at the same time. You choose what you'd like to go to. Also, during this time, if you have an idea for a session you're welcome to write it on "The Board"! All you need is a sticky note and a quick description or title.
After checking out The Board, attendees are given a welcome from the Edcamp organizers and they are given the lay of the land -- AKA directions around what is usually a school you've never been to before. Then it's time to start learning!
My personal favorite part of Edcamp is the idea that you "vote with your feet," which basically just means that if you want to leave a session, no apology needed. Go somewhere that you'll learn something. Nobody's feelings will be hurt (and even if they are, they are sworn to keep it to themselves :) ).
At the end of the day there are usually giveaways and chats between new friends. It's really a great day.
So, with that explanation out of the way, EdcampELA is a bit different than the majority of Edcamps around, as it's really, specifically for English teachers, reading coaches, literacy instructors, administrators, and librarians. Or, well, anybody interested in reading, writing, listening, speaking, and literacy skills. If that's you, you should be there!
EdcampELA will be held September 6 at Hoover High School (mark your calendars!).
It's going to be a day unlike anything else, because it really will speak to those of us there. We will get a chance to share ideas that we can DIRECTLY transfer into our classrooms. We will learn about strategies, books, skills, and technology that we can use in our classrooms without having to figure it out. We can collaborate with those who experience our daily lives in their daily lives. We can build relationships in different schools so that we have a PLN across the state! It's going to be a special experience.
So, please, join us for EdcampELA. Kristy has worked unbelievable hard to make this a great experience for all involved. She has a vision for this day, and it's one that I'd love to experience. So let's make it a reality!
When you come to Edcamp, don't feel like you have to present. You don't. But if you have a great idea, please share it with us! We are excited most about learning from each of you, so come with ideas! I know you all have them!
You can find more about EdcampELA at our website: http://edcampela.weebly.com
For tickets (THEY'RE FREE!): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/edcamp-ela-registration-11521961497
Also, help us spread the word! We want diversity and collaboration, so we need as many people as we can get! Follow the hashtag #edcampELA and us on Twitter at @EdcampELA .
If you have any questions, feel free to email Kristy or myself at EdcampELA@gmail.com.
We look forward to learning from and with each of you!