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Recap from last year’s EdCamp

A small but enthusiastic group of English and Language Arts teachers from Region 8 gathered in the media center of Nottoway Middle School on August 29th for VATE’s first ever EdCamp.  Though it was a beautiful Saturday morning and some of the attendees already had papers to grade, they gave up part of their weekend to share ideas and strategies with colleagues from across the region.  Educators from Amelia, Greensville,  Lunenburg, and Nottoway counties took part in the event.

EdCamp was hosted by VATE Executive Board member, Allison Jones, and VATE owes a special thanks to her and her principal, Roger Coleman, for the use of the Nottoway Middle School facility.  Executive Board members, Dan and Kelly Trump, also deserve a shout out for organizing the event.

Though in true EdCamp fashion, all participants served as facilitators,  VATE past president and Stafford County coordinator of K-12 Literacy, Sarah Crain, served as the point person for VATE’s EdCamp.  And, VDOE English coordinator Tracy Robertson was on hand to answer questions about SOL’s and resources available from VDOE.

All in attendance enjoyed the collegial atmosphere and the dynamic nature of the EdCamp experience.  I had the privilege of being one of the EdCamp participants, and I was impressed by the quality of the conversation in the sessions I attended. It was fun and rewarding meeting teachers from another area and learning how much we had in common.  I also walked away with a Google Slides presentation crammed full of ideas for lesson plans and classroom tips, many of which I could put to use immediately. And, even more noteworthy, all of the participants had a part in developing the slides utilizing a live, collaborative platform. I even have the conversational notes for the sessions that I did not visit.

After such a promising start, VATE is looking to the future and is anticipating sponsoring another EdCamp at a different location later in this school year.  It could be near you!  Even if it isn’t and you have to make a drive like I did, I promise you that your EdCamp experience will be well worth it.

Chuck Miller

VATE Executive Secretary