A week ago today I had the opportunity to learn and grow with more than 160 people at Nerd Camp Battle Creek. 160 people that took time out of their summer to grow and reflect together. The electricity in the room was electric.
If your are looking for a description of the day, please visit Katherine Sokolowski’s blog. She has managed to round up a handful of Nerd Camp reflections and put them all in one place.
I didn’t learn anything at Nerd Camp that will have a major impact on my practice. In fact, my learning at conferences never causes major changes in what I do in my classroom. However, I feel that attending conferences has a tremendous impact on my growth as an educator. Confused?
What I am trying to say is that I attend conference sessions hoping that the presenter or the room will plant a seed. A seed that will lead to more learning.
Did I learn anything in the graphic novel session that will have major changes in how I use graphic novels? Probably not, but the things that I did learn will help me to continuously grow and want to learn more. I now have this graphic novel seed now planted in my pedagogy. For the learning in a session to be helpful, it has to lead to more learning. I believe that it will. I now know that if I need help with using comics in my classroom that I should talk with Jerzy, and if I want to know what works in a middle grade classroom I need to talk with Katherine.
I have learned a ton about how to use graphic novels in my classroom since I attended the session at Nerd Camp. The learning didn’t stop when I left the session. The learning had just beginning.
As I gear up for the National Council for Teachers of English, the Michigan Reading Association Annual Conference, and another year at Nerd Camp, I cannot help but think about all the seeds that will happen when I place myself in a position to learn.