Reflections from Brad Parker, Social Studies TOSA
I think I went into TOSA Camp the same way a lot of our kids feel the first time they’re going to camp - slightly nervous (I don’t know anyone!), excited (I wonder what we’ll do?), and wondering what I should bring (one TOSA showed up with a sleeping bag, really). I took a peek at the agenda beforehand and was pretty impressed. Team building outside, AVID, CTE, IT, IlluminatED, Hexagonal Thinking, Hands-On Scientific Phenomenons, Mentors, Canvas, Group Math, Brainboosts (yep, we danced), Multilungual Ed, Sheltered Instruction, Dual Language, Trivia, HS Success, Passages, Social Studies, BME, Microbits and coding, and the closing: water balloons and s’mores (outside and on real charcoal too, no microwave business). It was an ambitious agenda, and it more than delivered.
As the new K-12 Social Studies TOSA and being completely new to BSD, I’ve been asking lots of questions, listening intently, and slowly piecing things together to help inform my understanding of the bigger picture and road ahead. I walked away from TOSA Camp humbled to be part of such a talented, dynamic team of educators, and honored to be a piece in a pretty amazing puzzle. I thought back to my early days in the classroom on the west side of Chicago, and that often overwhelming thought, wondering how could I do it all? How could I best reach all of my kids, reduce barriers, and increase opportunity? I’m reminded that collaboration is and always has been the answer. It is the catalyst of growth and a way to ensure diversity of thought, perspective, and experience. We’re always better when we inquire, act, and reflect together.
TOSA camp reaffirmed what I believe at my core: that education and fighting for the kind of world we believe in for our kids is serious business, but there should be joy and fun in that pursuit too.
I wonder if that guy with the sleeping bag spent the night?
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