Sunday, November 7, 2010

I'm a Tool - #edcampKC Thoughts

I'm a Tool - #edcampKC Recap

As I sit in the KC airport without access to a bathroom, I thought now would be a good time write a little reflective post on my journey this weekend.

I have never been to an edcamp before, so I was excited to see how everything worked. I'm organizing edcamp Detroit and had many questions for the KC group. To sum up the event, it went really well. Everyone knew what was goin on, sessions filled up and people were excited to share. I had planned on presenting on blogging in the classroom, but I found out Kristina, Becky and Shannon were going to discuss blogging as well. They invited me to join their group and discuss blogging from a HS perspective. It went really well. I couldn't be luckier to have those amazing women in my PLN.

I engaged in many conversations with people from all over the MidWest. Answered questions about my Blogger's Cafe and how I run my classes. I picked the brains if some very smart educators in an attempt to make my classes better. I love being surrounded by people that all have the same goal.

One of the ideas that seem to come out of many of the conversations was the tools we can use as educators to make education better. Blogging I'd a wonderful tool that we talked about, Russ talked about Evernote as an amazing tool in the classroom and others shared what they use. At the end of the Blogging Presentation (Which you can watch on U-Stream at the edcampKC wiki) I encouraged people to contact me with questions and I would be happy to help. I almost stopped myself when I said, "I'm a tool." Everyone got a good chuckle, but it is a very accurate statement. As teachers, we are the best tool for other teachers to use. We help eachother grow and become better. It is that simple to me.

I am often asked by other teachers in my building, "How much do you make/charge to work with these other teachers?" They give me weird looms when I tell them I do it for free. I guess I could charge teachers or districts to work with them, but right now I just help teachers here a d there I've developed a connection with. I do not mind being a tool for others to use to help improve themselves and their classrooms. I never signed up to be a teacher for the money, I signed up to make a difference. Edcamps make a difference and I'm glad to be part of that group.

As my plane gets ready to board passengers, I'm sad I have to leave my friends who I learned so much from in such a short time. I am excited to take that knowledge and help students and other teachers improve the education around them. I'm ok with being a tool. Are you?

- @TheNerdyTeacher