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Why You Should Attend a TeachMeet


I have been lucky enough to attend a number of TeachMeets in the South/ South-East of England over the last six years in many guises. I must admit I approached my first TeachMeet with a sense of trepidation, ‘I won’t know anyone there…..They might ask me to talk…I don’t feel like I’ve been doing anything innovative in the classroom…..What is going to happen?…..Is it worth a 2 hour round trip on the train? – such happy thoughts for something that was meant to be benefitting me! I can safely say that my first experience wasn’t a Nightmare on Elm Street, nor was it La La Landesque, perhaps more Coach Carter; positive, supportive, challenging but with common goals.

I left on a bit of a high and my journey back was spent reading a Peter James novel interspersed with some ‘micro-planning’, jotting down some notes as to how I could employ some of the ideas I’d heard about. Still to this day I use some of the feedback and questioning strategies/ techniques which were shared on that fateful evening. I’d had a chat with colleagues I would never have had the opportunity to unless I’d got on that train. I’d been able to collaborate on a small scale and I didn’t have to stand up in front of lots of colleagues to do so.

My most impactful resource that I took away from that event was the use of Twitter. I’d probably come to the party a little late but at least I’m there now! Twitter has opened up so many more CPD opportunities and a whole new TeachMeet online community, it is arguably the best platform with which to find out about TeachMeets near to home or further afield.

The TeachMeet concept was formulated by teachers wanting to drive their own Continual Professional Development (CPD). It has evolved into a format whereby teachers share ideas, resources, strategies and good practice which have been working for them with colleagues. The events have been labelled as ‘unconferences’, CPD opportunities which are organised but have an informal and organic feel about them. During TeachMeets sharing good practice and collaboration is the name of the game spanning from voluntary opportunities to sharing with the whole audience right down to a more ‘intimate’ and less public sharing on a one-to-one basis. A TeachMeet lives and breathes on the energy and interactivity of colleagues taking ownership of CPD, as opposed to the more traditional top down model.

Over the years, they have become bigger and bolder and there has been an increase in key note presenters joining the TeachMeet circuit. This is no bad thing, I have been able to hear a range of educators from across the country whom I had read about, retweeted or bought their book (no t-shirts were available).  

The beauty of a TeachMeet is that it is your own time being invested, it is your choice to attend, it is your choice as to how much you engage and interact and if you find that the event is not for you then it is your choice to walk – a little bit of trainspotting if you like.

Develop your career in 2018 by attending #TMGravesham, the first TeachMeet of it's kind in the Gravesham area. You can get your FREE tickets to an evening of refreshments, competitions, interesting ideas and useful strategies by clicking here. This TeachMeet is at Northfleet School for Girls on January 30th, with guest hosts Action Jackson (@ActionJackson) and Key Note Presenter Mark Anderson (@ICTEvangelist).

If you're looking for other ways you could develop yourself in 2018, take a look at these New Year's Resolutions for Teachers! They could be life changing, especially for your wellbeing!

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