Texas Bootcamp Day 1!

Welcome to OWL Texas Bootcamp 2017!  Houston has welcomed us with beautiful blue skies,  heat and humidity.  Throughout the day we focused on building community and challenging ourselves in a variety of activities, allowing ourselves to feel what many of our students feel in our classrooms.  We all experienced fun and exciting times, moments of pure frustration and connection with our colleagues. Activities such as the Name Relay, Word Race, Cards, Growth Line, Hashtag, Heart- to- Heart Musical chairs, Hula Hoop Races, and the Blind and Silent Mazes were led by the fantastic OWL facilitators. Each activity was tightly tied to this year’s themes: PossibilityPassionPurposePower.   Each experience shared today was carefully designed to be transferable and applicable to our practice in the classroom!

Our day started off by delving into our themes – adding actions, reflecting on and exploring the personal and professional implications of  Possibility, Passion, Purpose, and Power.  We were grouped into smaller circles to get to know each other’s name with the Name Relay. Next, we did the Word Race activity where we were split into smaller groups and had an opportunity to compete with the other teams to recreate words using the letters from our four theme terms, an interactive variation similar to Boggle.  We dug deeper by creating a concept web and reflecting on what our groups had come up with.  With as much fun and play going on , there were just as many meaningful discussions and relationships being built throughout the afternoon.

With ‘Cards’,  we were strategically paired and prompted to answer questions based on the key themes of the week, allowing us to expand our interpretations of the themes and what they mean to us.  After that, we did the emotional Growth Line, which gave us the opportunity to think about challenging situations in our life and how we process them, allowing us to once again experience what our students might feel in our classrooms.  Activities like this one made our opening day stand out a little more than your typical Sunday afternoon.

Heart-to- Heart Musical Chairs was a fun and powerful way to get people moving and talking to a lot of different people in a dance- fueled manner.  At the end of our day, we were pushed through our comfort, growth and risk zones  with a few low -ropes course activities!  The Blind Maze and Silent Maze challenged people to work together, work through frustration, and push themselves and each other to their limits. Last but not least, technology was incorporated using the activity Hashtags #TXBC17. Please use it throughout the week to share the excitement and passion from this great group of teachers! After each activity, there was a debriefing which allowed us the opportunity to reflect on and see how we could use each activity we experienced in our classrooms.

Possibility, Passion, Purpose and Power – the week is just beginning and we are all looking ahead toward what we will be gaining with the unimaginable possibilities awaiting us over the next five days!

Teacher Quotes:

“I think its great we get to experience what our students go through.”

“It’s a wonderful experience to work as a team.”

“Teachers are stronger when we work together.”