When I first found out I was responsible for writing a blog this month, I was stumped! As the Operations Director, I focus on things like logistics and programming…those physical things that keep us going day to day. As for the creative writing, I prefer to leave that up to our brilliant marketing department. However, as I sat down to brainstorm I quickly realized what an amazing opportunity this is to showcase one of our longest and greatest summer employees: Megan Killoran.
Megan Killoran just finished her EIGHTH summer at Camp EDMO® Los Altos. Over the years she has held a variety of roles, starting out as a Counselor, moving up to Instructor, then Assistant Director and most recently working four straight years as the site’s fearless Camp Director. Megan has her bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education and works as a Special Education Teacher in San Jose during the year. Though that is more than enough to keep anyone busy, Megan is also spends her evenings working on her masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Trauma and Resilience. Read on below to learn more about Megan and her passion for our EDMO world!
Courtney: You have so much going on during the year. What keeps bringing you back to work summers with EDMO?
Megan: It really comes down to the relationships I’ve built throughout the years with staff, campers and families. Working at EDMO the summer after my freshman year of college is what led me down the path of becoming a special education teacher and helped me become the leader and teacher I am. Now, you could call me an EDMO lifer. I love EDMO!
Courtney: As a teacher, you see a huge variety of curriculum and programming for kids. How does EDMO’s curriculum stand out compared to curriculum you teach during the school year?
Megan: I’d say the whole hands on experience. With the focus on technology, maker and science kids of all abilities can access it because it is interactive, but they are also still learning key concepts and ideas without having to have the skills necessary to read and write. In schools, science and other areas are mainly taught through reading so not every kid gets the same opportunity to learn. Then add in the fact it has the SEL embedded which is huge. If schools do have SEL curriculum (which is rare) it’s typically a separate curriculum which is hard to fit in with the required time for other “core” subjects.
Courtney: What is your favorite component of our SEL curriculum? What type of school year benefits do you see from this type of programming?
Megan: I love that we have the SEL skills in the enrichment curriculum so the kids are getting it throughout the day. Also, just the entire focus on these skills because it’s what our kids need but it is often overlooked during the school year. They benefit because they are able to learn the skills through experiences like collaborating on their projects and can figure out how to problem solve when real issues arise. But I also love that we dedicate that time specifically towards SEL as well because it allows for them to learn and do it. (If school curriculum had this embedded it would make such a big difference on the behavior we experience as educators.)
Courtney: What is your favorite silly moment from your years at EDMO?
Megan: There are so many! Probably when my staff did surprise pies on my last day this summer, because I LOVE pies!
Huge thanks to Megan Killoran for sharing her valuable time and thoughts!