Personal development for educators is a new way for teachers to grow professionally and pass along knowledge to students. For years, professional development has been emphasized, and now personal development is seen as an important part of building professionalism.
At Duncan Middle School, teachers from across the district gathered for an EdCamp. “An EdCamp is basically a series of session talks (in a group), the teachers get to hold conversations about the topic,” EdCamp facilitator and Duncan Middle School journalism teacher Derrick Miller said. “If one of them wants to learn more about Twitter, then they talk to other teachers who might know something about Twitter … you have people giving their input into it. It’s more of a group discussion. Sometimes there is a facilitator in the classroom, but for the most part is about getting those conversations going.”
At the EdCamp, there were about 84 different classes available.
“We’ve got a variety of (topics),” said Miller. “We got a lot dealing with technology. In the 21st Century you got to have technology. We have Twitter, a lot of Google stuff – especially since we’re getting Chromebooks –, we have just a wide variety.”
When Miller experienced an EdCamp in Oklahoma City he decided to share the program in Duncan, and became a facilitator.
“Typically EdCamp is not only open to one school district, it’s open to all educators in the state,” he said. “We are more or less taking that idea and putting into the Duncan School District, trying to introduce them to the EdCamp model. I really enjoy EdCamp. Sometimes educators are the smartest people in the room and this is a great way for them to get new ideas. “