If you've been anywhere near a child since 1985, you are probably familiar with If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. The book has been replicated and spoofed, and it shares the consequences of one decision and the subsequent actions that take place. Well, after returning from my first EdCamp, EdCampIllinois on May 14th at South Middle School in Arlington Heights, IL, I now understand a little bit more about that mouse. EdCamps are "unconferences" or conferences wherein the sessions and agendas are created on the go and inspired by the motivation and willingness to share and brainstorm for the betterment of education.
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If You Give a Teacher an EdCamp by Shannon Schroeder
If you give a teacher an EdCamp, she will probably share an idea with a fellow teacher, and that fellow teacher will share an idea with her. If you give a teacher an idea, that teacher will ask for another idea and then make a connection on Twitter, building her PLC. In all likelihood, the teacher will go to another EdCamp session, and share another idea with another fellow teacher, and that teacher will share an idea with her. Then that teacher will ask for the resources for that idea. If you give a teacher resources for that idea, she will bookmark them, order the book from Amazon, and share her resources with her colleagues on Monday, and then, she will ask to go to another session. If you give a teacher another session with like minded, motivated teachers who have given up their Saturdays to earn the elusive CPDUs, she will likely Tweet about an idea she learned and share it to her PLC. Then, she will ask for more ideas. If you give a teacher more ideas, she will get inspired and start asking questions. She will feel as though she is not alone in the murky waters of education. She will ask for answers to her questions. If you give a teacher answers to her questions, she might feel excited and engaged, and she will ask more questions and want more ideas. If you give a teacher more answers and more ideas and more inspiration, she will ask, "When's the next EdCamp?" and she will wonder why all PD isn't like this. So, please, give a teacher an EdCamp.