NFA teachers (from left) Lindsey Sachs (Technology Integration), Shannon Craige (Media Studies & Learning Support), Ally Monteiro (STEM) and Admissions Director Erin Wallin organized the recent EdcampSEL held at Norwood-Fontbonne Academy.

This past Saturday, April 6, Norwood-Fontbonne Academy hosted its second annual EdCamp event. The event, which the academy refers to as an “unconference,” hosted 45 participants including teachers, school nurses, principals, college professors and librarians from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

EdCamp was originally started in 2010 in Philadelphia, and now takes place across the United States and 41 other countries. The purpose of the event is to emphasize participation in professional learning in order to empower educators through creative interaction and dynamic sharing of ideas.

“NFA’s second annual EdCamp was a huge success,” said Shannon Craige, Media Studies and Learning Support teacher at NFA and the lead organizer of the event. “We are so grateful to have been able to host this event because of the positive energy around the sharing, learning and connecting. The focus on social and emotional learning really lends itself to a genuine learning experience.”

The event began with a group meeting to “build the board,” or to set the agenda. This is done by the participants interacting and collaborating to find agenda topics. Participants were then able to mingle and have breakfast, followed by an ice-breaker of playing “Ultimate Rock-Paper-Scissors” before splitting into breakout sections based on the topics they brainstormed.

The breakout sessions allowed for participants to have authentic conversations, while also keeping the five Social Emotional Learning competencies at the forefront of discussion. Social media also allowed for those not in attendance to spread their ideas in the discussion groups.

“To experience 45 educators gathered together on a Saturday morning tells me that they are dedicated to their own professional growth and to the most essential part of educating children – their social and emotional well-being,” Craige said.

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