The evaluations are starting to roll in and it appears that JEDcamp Midwest was a fabulous first step in what we hope will become an annual event. There’s that moment, when I plan an event, when people begin to arrive that I start to panic… “OMG… they’re really here…” Well, they registered, they came, they participated and they got something out of it!
Our last session of the day was pretty much an informal evaluation and a chance to generate some ideas for the next time. There was a good assortment of people at that session including Conservative and Orthodox day school teachers, Reform religious school principals, and JEDcamp committee members. We talked about how JEDcamp can connect the very distinct silos in Chicago and give us a chance to share with one another. We talked about potential venues that would appeal to the greatest number of people from every geographic area, all movements and teaching settings.
Some of the take aways were:
1. An hour was too long for some sessions, but we worried that if we only allocated thirty minutes, it wouldn’t have been long enough. A possible solution would be to have sessions start at both the hour and the half hour, but stagger the rooms so that if a session ran for more than thirty minutes it would be okay.
2. Start after lunch so religious school teachers could participate fully. My concern with that is that I worry that, after they’ve taught all morning, religious school teachers will still bail at 2:00. We talked about finding a time in August before religious school begins, but those Sundays are precious to day school teachers. This is a tough one.
3. We tried to come up with some kind of track system where people could designate if the topic they’re posing is (a) a conversation they want to have or (b) a skill they want to share. We agreed that both are critical, but that we’d like to have a way to determine that.
Overall, though, the day was a success and we’re proud of what we accomplished.