Syosset and Jericho Go ‘Ed’ Camping

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Every year, school districts across Long Island utilize Election Day as required professional development time for instructional staff. This year, the Syosset School District teamed with neighboring Jericho School District to conduct a day of EdCamp, a participant-driven staff development experience that places the teachers in charge of their own learning.

Edcamps embrace the belief that fellow educators can be valuable professional development resources for their colleagues. Syosset and Jericho teachers submitted ideas for workshops, a master schedule was created and workshops were offered in both districts. Some Syosset educators set up camp at Jericho, while others led or participated in sessions held at the district’s two designated locations: Syosset High School and H.B. Thompson Middle School.

One of the more unique aspects of the collaboration was a large board set up in each school’s cafeteria, where workshops were posted and continually updated throughout the day. As teachers identified similarities in areas of their workshops, they combined sessions to bring more people together to share ideas. A QR code was also available for teachers to scan the schedule using their mobile devices and have it with them throughout the day.

“We are always looking to break new ground,” said Syosset Superintendent of Schools Dr. Thomas Rogers. “EdCamp is an emerging, organic concept that enables teachers to share their greatest interests, skills and strengths with their colleagues in a manner and setting that resonates with them. Our partnership with the Jericho School District has brought many creative minds together for the benefit of teachers and students in both communities. I thank Jericho Superintendent of Schools Henry Grishman and his staff for working with us to coordinate this very productive day.”

Approximately 70 workshops were offered at the Syosset locations, including “Improving Fine Motor Skills Through American Sign Language,” “Mindfulness in the Classroom,” “Share-a-thon of the New York State Science Learning Standards” and “Telling Your Story Using Social Media.”

EdCamps have been recognized by countless organizations, including the U.S. Department of Education, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the International Society for Technology in Education.