Teachmeets are awesome

Pub

Originally uploaded by sunflowerdave (professional loungist)

This post is about Teachmeet North East 2012

As I said a post or two ago, we need to recognise (well, I need to reassure myself) that we can’t all do everything. And after a bit of a crappy first half of the week I wasn’t 100% certain I would pay my £12 rail fare and give up my Thursday evening to go up to Newcastle and talk shop for the evening, albeit in the function room of a really nice pub.

But, as with every Teachmeet I’ve ever been to, I’m really, really glad I did just that.

For those not familiar with the format, a load of teachers organise via a wiki to meet up somewhere for 3 hours or so, and a number of them agree to do either a short 7 minute talk, or an even shorter 2 minute talk on some aspect of classroom practice. A tool, a tip, a technique – anything at all.

It helps if you can get someone like Vital or Northern Grid to chip in a few quid to hire a room and provide some nibbles.

And what you get is a load of teachers who are startlingly passionate about education, and about learning, and about being better at what we do.

It takes a bit of nerve to stand up in front of other teachers, but actually it’s a very positive atmosphere. If the topic doesn’t interest you, it’s only 7 minutes. And in the many Teachmeets I’ve attended, I can count on one hand the topics that didn’t grab me. I have to take my socks off to count all the ideas I’ve nicked.

As one friend of mine said just last night, “This can’t be CPD. I enjoy it.” And he’s got a point. While I’ve taken positives from some of the INSET work in school and some of the courses I’ve been on, I’ve never had as much fun OR learned as much OR been inspired as much OR been as engaged as much as happens at Teachmeets.

Over the next week or so I’ll be commenting on a few of the specific presentations that have given me pause for thought, but for now, take this as a massive plug to find your nearest Teachmeet (there are loads of them) and get yourself some first rate CPD.

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