09 February 2014

What Difference Does Dad Make? - #edcampstl 2014

I finally made it to my first EdcampSTL yesterday - this is (slightly better version of) the presentation I threw together at lunch.

My friend +Manuel Herrera and I had been talking earlier in the week about sessions, so I'd been considering which of the PD sessions I've given before I might like to kick around, but I wasn't particularly feeling inspired.

What was on my mind, however, was the impact a father (figure)'s involvement can have on students' achievement and attitude toward school. Am I alone in ever wondering if I the male teachers some kids have are the only men in their lives that have meaningful (and sometimes demanding) conversations about learning, education, and growing up?

I didn't know a lot about Edcamp, but I did know that the focus is on those attending driving the theme and focus of the day. So, when Manuel asked me in the morning if I was going to present, I asked myself, "What do I want to talk about," and thought about this recent tweet:

I signed up for a spot in session 3, and then spent most of lunch putting together a few slides (here's a slightly more polished version)

There were fewer campers with me than I'd hoped, but it was a good opportunity to throw out some ideas, and talk about one of my passions

The results?

We didn't get anywhere close to finding solutions for the kiddos that don't have a father or grandfather in their lives, nor can we (or would we want to) reverse more than 300 years of technology innovation that changed the way fathers interact with their children's education. However, we CAN host events at our schools that are more dad-friendly, and we CAN be more intentional about addressing fathers about school concerns beyond sports teams.

+Justin Tarte did a fantastic job reflecting on the session here - "Where Are All the Dads?"

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Thanks for sharing!