I’ve got to start with just one word this time and that’s it. Simply – wow.
If you have never been to a ‘TeachMeet’ before then I have news for you. You’re missing out. For a couple of hours of your time you have access to a cornucopia of ideas, insights and just good old-fashioned networking.
This is a re-blog post originally posted by Paul Strange and published with kind permission.
The original post can be found here.
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I was honoured when I received an invite to present at such an event being set up in my local area. This was the first time this particular ‘TeachMeet’ had met and I don’t think anybody knew what to expect. With these things, it’s always a bit nerve-wracking. Who’s going to be there? How many? Will people enjoy it? Is it going to be a success? The list of questions is endless and more often than not they are negative (which really begs the question – why?). But positive thinking really paid off as the event was a huge success!
It really is refreshing to be in the same place with like-minded people who are all out for the same things:
To share and to grow.
I have a new theory and my theory is this: If more teachers invested a little more time in themselves and went to events such as this one then the profession would be much more collaborative, enjoyable and energized.
As previously mentioned I was lucky enough to be invited to present at the event. Many of the things that I spoke about are things that I have rambled about in my blog entries. Things I have tried out, trialled and just plain gone out on a limb to see what benefits they hold and what kind of mileage I can get out of them. I was very flattered to hear the kind remarks after the event was over. I’m not one who operates on positive praise (as previously rambled about) but it sure feels good. That pat on the back or that kind remark just makes you feel like you’re making a difference. Like you’re having an impact beyond your own practice and day-to-day role. That’s not to say I am undermining the fact that we do these things day in and day out and that sometimes they go unrecognized. Quite the contrary. If we didn’t have the conviction or the environment and ethos in our schools to do these things then nothing would ever move forward. We’d have nothing to talk about or to present. We’d be stuck in perpetual stagnation. Not a place I would like to find myself.. ever.
But let’s look at the positives!
We are teachers.
We love to teach.
We should never stop learning.
We should never stop growing.
We should always strive to give something back.
Correct me if I am wrong but doesn’t an event like a TeachMeet tick all of the boxes above?
So get out there! Get online right now and find your nearest event. Pluck up the courage to share something that has met with success in your own classroom. If you’re not a big public speaker then get a group together (there is safety in numbers (or so I hear – it’s never been a principle I have applied before – you wouldn’t have guessed right?)). Or just go simply for the experience and to learn something new or take something away that you plan to have a go at in order to develop your own classroom practice or approach. That’s not a request, it’s an order by the way. Go now!
I have the utmost respect for those who go out of their way to arrange events like this too. There’s no pressure to start a movement like this. The people who set about starting this event didn’t do so with their sights set on tangible or monetary rewards. It is a shining example of when the hard work is rewarded simply by the facilitation of collaboration and the gratitude of the attendees afterwards. There truly are some brilliant, creative and driven people out there in the circles of education. Make sure you let them know it too. So – thank you!
I can’t wait until the next one.
Just try and stop me from coming.
If you haven’t already guessed I am totally on a high.
Apologies if you had to witness my over-the-top hand gestures, dramatic over-the-top singing or glare off of my exposed teeth as I drove back from the event to my house as I could not wipe the grin off of my face. In fact, no. Wait a minute… I make no apologies whatsoever. That puts me in mind of a certain song…
…Nope! Not going there…
Until next time fellow educators of young minds,
Stay sharp (and for goodness’ sake GO TO A TEACHMEET!)
Paul Strange describes himself as: Creative, proactive and driven primary school teacher. Literacy Coordinator & Talk for Writing specialist. Keen artist!