Are you the kind of person that seeks out new ideas and opportunities? Do you love learning new things? Do you go into your classroom with enthusiasm? Does teaching make you smile? Do you share ideas with other teachers? Do you go into the staffroom and tell others what you;ve been up to that morning? Get a cuppa, take a seat, this blog post is for you.
Are you the teacher whose Facebook status is counting down the days until the next holiday / moaning about going in to school in the morning? Do you go into the staffroom and moan about the children in your class? You might as well ignore this post and get on with something else. This post is not for you.
The more I think about it, the more I realise this is a crazy idea. I am asking teachers to come together and share ideas in their own time. This is not a course or a way of getting out of the classroom for an afternoon. This is teachers coming together in the evening to share and collaborate with others.
As you all know, the best bit of most courses is the coffee break. It’s the talking to other teachers and sharing what you’ve been doing in your classroom. It’s picking up little titbits of information that you can take back and share with your children. TeachMeet is like an extended coffee break. (We’re even providing food and drink).
The whole TeachMeet experience started for me around October last year. I was doing some work online one Sunday evening, as you do, and I saw some information about a FlashMeeting. This was an online video chat with other teachers where they shared ideas for a few minutes each. My girlfriend thought I was mad. Why was I listening to teachers on a Sunday evening??? I watched a few people speak and thought it was a great way of sharing ideas. So I signed up to TeachMeet Bett.
This event was exciting. There were 300ish people in a room, all involved in education in some way and all sharing ideas or listening to others. I presented (first) and enjoyed every second. During the break we were introduced to a guy whose name I can’t remember, who talked about his struggle to setup a TeachMeet event in Holland. Immediately I turned to my colleagues and suggested a Hampshire version.To cut a long story short…
A few discussions and emails later and we have sponsorship, a venue and a few teachers signed up to present. We have decided on a conference room at St Mary’s Stadium. Further details can be found here: http://bit.ly/tmhants
So what can you do to get involved? Why not sign-up to attend? If you’re in Hampshire, come spend an evening with some like minded people, enjoy some free food and drink and learn some things to take back and use in your classroom. I promise that you will get enthused and will leave full of excitement. There is also a huge stack of free stuff and prizes from companies such as BrainPop, Rising Stars, Scholastic and 2Simple. We estimate the freebies to be around £500 per person!!
So go on. Take a few hours out of your evening and come along to St Mary’s Stadium. If you’re feeling extra brave you can also present too. Presentations can be for 2 or 7 minutes. So far we have a number of teachers signed up to present, but could you do it too? If not, just come along and listen. Maybe you can build up the courage for TeachMeet Hampshire 2011! I hope to see some of you there and if not, check out some of the resources online instead.