Inquiry project #4 – Math Camp + More

About a month ago in one of my EMTH classes, a presenter came and talked to us about the need for volunteers at a Math Camp that was going to take place on March 29th. I remember hearing about the same Math Camp in years prior, but could never be involved due to work or prior engagements. However, with this years camp being held on a Sunday, there were no reasons for me not to participate and so I signed up to volunteer.

My role in the camp was to lead a group of students in grades 9-12 around the university from session to session. Having a small group of only 7 kids meant that I could spend lots of time interacting with them and getting to know them. However, I was surprised about how much they wanted to know about me. They were curious about what I was taking in school and why I choose to become a math teacher. It was as if I had become a mentor to them for the day.

From this volunteering opportunity I was able to learn something else about the importance of professional development for teachers. I learned that professional development through volunteering can make a positive difference in peoples lives. While the day did not require much from me in terms of preparation or  involvement, I was still able to make an influence on the event and the kids that attended. I received a pleasant email following the camp from the camp director, stating “Your efforts in promoting Mathematics in the community are very much appreciated, and it would certainly be impossible to pull this off without your dedication.” I was shown similar gratitude from the kids that were in my group at the end of the camp. At first it did not feel like I had done much, but it has become clear to me that it doesn’t always has to in order to make a difference. While I was able to help make a difference on the camp and the students, the camp was also beneficiary for me. The camp provided me with the opportunity to develop my leadership skills in addition to student connections and relationships. I was even able to learn new activities that I could use as a teacher.

 

For my inquiry project I’ve done plenty of time with hands-on participation in professional development, but have yet to really do any research about professional development and it’s benefits. And so, I spent some time to find sources and research that would help me with my inquiry project.

I was able to find this cool TEDTalk video by Tuan Nguyen on volunteerism and how it is “the best platform for professional and personal development”. While it may presented from a business point of view, it could also be shifted and viewed from an educators perspective. I really like the points he makes about how volunteering can make a difference in your own life and for the lives of others, and how it can give you positive vibes in your life.

 

Another TEDTalk video I found to be very interesting is the one below by Tai Basurto, who talks more directly as to how professional development is significant for teachers. The presenter talks about “why ongoing training is key to advancing teaching practice, how it has had a positive effect on her classroom, and why it is essential to widespread educational improvement”. It was interesting to see how enthusiastic Tai was on professional development, how it has made her more passionate about teaching. She emphasizes the impact professional development has made in her career and as a lifelong learner, and how that has been beneficial for her students.

 

Here are some other resources I have found:

1. The EvoLLLution – Illuminating the LifeLong Learning movement. A grassroots online newspaper exclusively for, and by, those who understand higher education best, The EvoLLLution is the only place where you can find detailed opinions, news and research about the impact of non-traditional programs on the higher education industry and society-at-large.

I found this website very helpful as it categorizes its articles for easy searching, such as Personal Development and Professional Development. Here are two articles on PD that I found interesting:

Why Professional Development for Teachers is Critical 

The Value of Workshops and Continuing Education for Teachers

2. Edutopia – A comprehensive website and online community that increases knowledge, sharing, and adoption of what works in K-12 education. We emphasize core strategies: project-based learning, comprehensive assessment, integrated studies, social and emotional learning, educational leadership and teacher development, and technology integration.

I found that Edutopia had lots of information on teacher development such as an overview, its importance, research, and programs. There are also plenty of videos to watch that discuss teacher development. You can find this on the link below.
Teacher Development

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About Adam Brock

My name is Adam Brock and I am a third year student at the University of Regina! I am currently in the Secondary Education Program, with plans to major in Mathematics and minor in Outdoor and Physical Education. I was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada and look forward to travelling after my years at the U of R.

Posted on April 9, 2015, in Education Core Studies (ECS) 350, Inquiry Project, Inquiry project #4 – Math Camp + More and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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