KONZ | Teachers create, attend inaugural 'EdCampJCPS' - WDRB 41 Louisville News

KONZ | Teachers create, attend inaugural 'EdCampJCPS'

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The inaugural 'EdCampJCPS' was help Wednesday at Waggener High School (Photo by Toni Konz, WDRB News) The inaugural 'EdCampJCPS' was help Wednesday at Waggener High School (Photo by Toni Konz, WDRB News)
This EdCamp session was about teacher collaboration (Photo by Toni Konz, WDRB News) This EdCamp session was about teacher collaboration (Photo by Toni Konz, WDRB News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It was like a day-long summer camp -- only instead of teaching kids -- this group of Jefferson County Public Schools teachers were teaching themselves.

Approximately 100 educators attended the inaugural "EdCampJCPS" was held at Waggener High School on Wednesday. The professional development sessions -- generated by JCPS teachers as they arrived -- ranged from "Twitter for Teachers" and "Building a Classroom Community" to "Project-based Learning" and "Visual Literacy."

"This is the first professional development opportunity like this of its kind in JCPS," said Meme Ratliff, a JCPS teacher. "Teachers were able to lead a session on any topic that interests them."

It's quite different than the required professional development sessions created by the district. Each year, JCPS teachers must take 24 hours of professional development -- classes designed to help them develop their craft and become better at producing results in their classrooms.

This opportunity allowed teachers to share ideas of what works -- and what hasn't worked -- with other colleagues from across the district.

"Teachers want to know what other teachers are doing," said Kimberly Draewell, a teacher at Eastern High School who led a session on how teachers can better connect with each other. 

One of the ideas talked about: How can an English teacher from one school better connect with an English teacher at another school? Or how can two fourth grade teachers share ideas about a student-led project without having to step outside their building?

Superintendent Donna Hargens stopped by the camp early Wednesday morning to observe some of the sessions.

“It was wonderful to visit with such an inspiring group that is focused on collaboration, breaking down silos and harnessing the power of classroom experts," Hargens said. "It’s amazing what we can do when we all work together.”

Teachers seemed to enjoy the event. As they attended sessions, they were encouraged to use the hashtag #EdCampJCPS on social media.

Ratliff says there will be another EdCampJCPS sometime this fall.

Reporter Antoinette Konz covers K-12 education for WDRB News. She can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

Copyright 2016 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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