RedCamp couldn’t have come at a better time for me this year. Lately I had been struggling to decide what I wanted to do next year – teaching, learning coaching, inclusion coordinator, graduate studies, subbing, leaving the teaching profession completely. This wasn’t a decision I took lightly. I really struggled to come to terms with what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be. I relied quite heavily on my support system: Friends, family, coworkers, faith, and even a couple of strangers who were willing to listen. I am quite lucky to have an admin team at my school who realized that I needed time to make this decision and look at not only the job but the community and my personal life to see what it is that I wanted. I also have a fantastic team at my school who care about each other and encouraged me to figure out exactly what it is that I needed.
RedCamp16 was a small crowd this year but a group of extremely passionate individuals who were willing to be in a school on a gorgeous Saturday. I looked at our schedule we were creating and suggestions for sessions and decided to sign up to facilitate a discussion about active learning and inquiry in the classroom. I was expecting to facilitate a conversation, share ideas and get some cool ideas for myself but as life has it – the group had other plans. Many people came to learn more about inquiry and hear about my experiences. Now if you know me, you know that I hate talking in front of people because I like to listen to people and add to people’s ideas. I like to question and push things to different levels. This was extremely uncomfortable for me.
We talked and I shared my experience and where I was in my educational journey. I by no means claim to be an expert in anything or have it all figured out. It is all about making yourself vulnerable and open to the learning process. (Also a great thing to model for your students.) I shared the experiences in my classroom, I also opened up about my experience in school. If I made a difference to even one teacher today or shared one thing that a teacher can take back to their classroom or reflect upon their own practice, it was worth my own discomfort.
The most valuable part is it renewed my passion for education. It also helped me realize that I love working with teachers and inspiring them to try something new or find a different way to look at things. I want to support other people to be the best that they can be. I like to develop things. Most importantly, I don’t want to be in the spotlight – I want to make others shine.
RedCamp gave me the opportunity to revisit the things that were core values to me as an educator, but most importantly, it gave me a chance to make a decision that I had been struggling with now for 2 weeks. Thanks everyone for giving me something that you didn’t realize your gave me in listening and asking questions – the answer to a decision that has been weighing me down.