Once a month, the teachers at my school have to stay after school. It is our scheduled faculty meeting. Most of the time is can be a little dull. The principal has to inform of rules or testings or getting grades into the system. However, this last meeting was different. No talk about student learning objectives (although we all believe this to be important discussion.) The principal allowed us to run the meeting. Everyone was invited to teach a class not to the students, but to each other.
The concept is known as an Edcamp. Teachers are given free reign to decide what they will teach and how they will teach it. And it did not have to be a school subject like math or science. The topic was totally up to us. Well, since I’m a NDM logically I volunteered to teach a class on Disney vacation planning. I never had so much fun prepping for a class.
Running an Edcamp means teaching a skill to a class of individuals who have little to no knowledge of your subject matter. Ideally the teacher will not have any handouts. The idea is to run with the knowledge that is already in your head. What a challenge! I’ve got Disney planning in my head nearly every day. How do I develop an instructional design? How do I convey what I know? Where do I begin? And only have 45 minutes to do it. Let me put it this way. I have students who routinely ask me for literary criticisms and scientific research reports. I can find that without giving the task much thought. Disney planning? I spent every spare moment for one month thinking about coming up with a class that covers how to plan for a trip to the world.
My students arrived in the library promptly at 3:00pm. Four students; 2 math teachers, one Englisher teacher and one social studies teacher. All had visited the world and were planning another visit soon. I was ready. I made handouts even though that element of Edcamp was discouraged. I’ve included that handout below.
Since teachers are always limited to school vacations I discussed the benefits of visiting during summer. I discussed crowds and how best to avoid them. I touched on where to stay and the benefits to staying on property. I dared not venture into Magic Bands since time was limited. Everyone was eager to share their thoughts.
Share your thoughts! How do you vacation plan? What advice would share with Letty? Share it with us in the comments below!