Yesterday I attended #educampwelly at St Mary’s college in Wellington.
I took time out from a hectic schedule to show my support for Philippa who I knew was one of the organisers.
Philippa is one amazing educator who is moving fast in ‘edusphere’. Last year she presented with me on a TeachMeetNZ session and later on we were both on the steering committee for edchatnz, then she was was selected to be a Coreefellow 2015 intake. Now she is part of the Mindlab team and is sharing her passion about Design thinking and learning. That is her in the middle of the #TeachMeetNZ photo that I always try and gather at events.
However as an experienced teacher sometimes we attend events to offer support but can come away with so much more. That was me.
First of all I was able to visit St Mary’s College and having been a Director of Religious studies for most of my teaching career, I was able to see the visual evidence of the special character of the school. I loved the way that the main organiser Paula opened the session for the day as all catholic schools open special events with a prayer. I especially loved that she proudly did so in Te Reo. She delegated the blessing of the meal to another delegate.
The second highlight was catching up with the fabulous #TeachMeetNZ educators. I always watch how they are getting on and have a real sense of pride in seeing them. I was able to chat with the upcoming presenters such as @Jackbillie35 and @steve_katene and find out more about them and their interests and tag a new presenter for an upcoming session.
The third highlight was having a chat with Tim about the Pond developments and hear him mentor a new ICT Lead teacher in ensuring that systems are in place before purchasing devices. This reminded me how much I still need to mentor staff at my school about pedagogy before the tool and continue to encourage them to share their practice outside of our school bubble.
A further highlight was leading a SOLOtaxonomy session. Totally off the cuff and totally exciting because we had recently had Pam Hook work at our school and we revisited the why and the how of SOLOtaxonomy. Therefore I was able to share with the interested delegates some of what I had recently heard from Pam. I think that my mentor Ginny would have been proud because I even showed them how to create a rubric using the generator from Pam’s site. However on reflection, I did not start with a rubric. I did use the hand signals to indicate a shift in thinking. I also used the hand signals to identify teachers whose thinking was strong and encouraged them to lead a discussion at their tables because the group was so big.
I attended other sessions too and took away much in the discussion. I was able to make connections with heaps of new educators, introduced a couple onto twitter, and unfortunately could not attend everything. So I do look forward to reading other blogs about the educampwelly event. For example here is Leanne’s reflection. @fivefoot3
Finally you have no idea how excited I was to meet Drew @phatnesian and Victoria @vtofilau. They are other Samoan educators who also attended on the day. We chatted in Samoan and generally basked in the glow of finding each other as I know from research how few and far we are in the education system.
To finish up with I love freebies. As educators we often spend on our own professional development and it was such a fabulous gesture of Coreeducation Wellington team to sponsor our lanyards. This helped us put a twitter handle to a face. They were there too and helped with registration and helped problem solve the WIFI.
To the N4L team who put on the pizzas for us hungry people. This enabled us to stay back and chat because during the packed day there were so many exciting sessions that just having the opportunity to chat and catch up with each other is also such an important part of educamps. Thank you too for this. You remember what it is like as teachers to attend events and knew exactly what you would do if you had the chance to support.
Now Fiona, educamp mama you were not here physically but you were here on our lips, in our minds and in the odd tweet you were tagged in and responded to.
So for all of the delegates who attended, have you fulfilled the criteria for earning your digital badge? To help you, here is the twitter list from the day. Have you joined the educamp group on google +? Here is the link.
Have you taken time out to say thanks to the amazing welly_ed team who put together this fabulous event for us? What are your plans regards running your own collaborative event? eg: I have one coming up #TeachMeetNZ meets #Science hosted by Cath.
Lastly have you recorded your reflection of the day and have shared it in a public way?