So you’ve come to this conference and on the program it keeps saying TeachMeet and you're just not sure what a Teachmeet is and anyway why should you care. So I’m here to explain everything.
But who am I and what right do I have to tell you anything. Well My name is Henrietta Miller and I am a stage 3 teacher and the PYP coordinator at Roseville College, a K-12 Anglican girls school in Sydney. I am also a TeachMeet Australia founder member, an Adobe Education leader and Blogger. A wife, mother and dog lover. What I’m not is super human I just love to learn, to improve my teaching practice and my students outcomes.
I teach at a wonderful school in Sydney. Where I once had the pleasure of teaching Linda’s lovely daughter. We’ve had a renovation since you were there Linda and I thought you might like to see just how different some of our learning spaces now are. But back to the topic. What is a teachmeet and why should you care anyway?
How many of these seem relevant to you? Pause I’m sure many of you can relate to whole days being spent in session that were irrelevant to your faculty or class? Well I'm here to tell you how TeachMeets can revolutionize not only your own personal profession development but your schools too.
TeachMeets were started in Scotland about ten years ago by an educator called Ewan McGregor who decided to invite some fellow educators to the pub for a series of informal get togethers. Since then they have spread around the globe, I heard about teachmeets in 2011through twitter and being a ‘can do’ kind of person I decided to hold one in my then year 5 classroom. My co-teacher buddy Pru and I baked some muffins and invited a bunch of primary school teachers along for the day. It turned out to be the first in Australia but was quickly followed by others held by Matt Esterman and Simon Crook also from Sydney. Since then they have spread around Australia helped by the power of social media, blogging, facebook and wikis and other conference presentations. Key facts -
There are TeachMeets being held all over the country now each one at a different place or space and involving different teachers and educators.
They generally run after school, although in Melbourne Saturdays are very popular. Teachers volunteer to present for a maximum of seven minutes on any topic they think worth sharing. The 7 minutes is key to their success, So that even if the presentation is boring or irrelevant to you it wont be long before someone else is presenting.
TeachMeets can often end with TeachEat- well after all teachers do love their food too. Sometimes they are even just a TeachEat, socializing is often the best way to learn,
teachMeets can take place in all kinds of places and its quite easy to persuade corporate bigwigs to donate spaces.
In Sydney we’ve had them at
Manly Q Station The Opera House The State Library Google HQ The Sydney theatre company and more
But they don’t have to. One of the best I’ve ever been to was on a Saturday lunchtime, in a pub. No technology just teachers sharing from the heart with a whiteboard and some marker pens
Teachmeets can have themes but they don’t have to
TeachMeets are also happening at universities, both full time, casual, part time and pre-service teachers learning and sharing together.
Most states now have their own wiki with details of forthcoming teachMeets,this is the Sydney TM wikispaces calendar of events for term 3. As you can see a number of varied style teachmeets
plus there are pages of advice and help on how to run a teachmeet.
You can connect with other teachers through the TeachMeet facebook group too Here is the TeachMeet Australia Guru Matt Esterman presenting last week at ISTE Listen to podcasts that cover TeachMeets
Plus we have the TeachMeet Australia website which can be used by anyone who has a Teachmeet they want to advertise.
At my school we have taken the concept one step further with termly rosemeets. Where staff from k- 12 get together over a drink and some snacks to share some of the learning that has been going on in their classrooms or faculties.
But why should you care?
Well in case you haven't realized, teaching one of the most isolating professions in the world. We may be surrounded by students all day but the chances of professional dialogue are slim with by the time you escape the classroom, 20 minutes for lunch and a bathroom break. Also Teaching is hard work, and we need to acknowledge that we need help Plus The world of education is changing, new curriculum, new outcomes, new paperwork, new expectations. If you're not a learner then you shouldn’t be a teacher
And finally – fun, invigorating, refreshing and challenging.
Now there may be days when you feel like this owl on the left and the thought of filling your brain with a single other thought is more than you can bare. Well if that’s the case back off, take a break, be kind to yourself or….
Go to a teachMeet, which I promise will help you to become invigorated and refreshed, your problems will pale into insignificance as you chat with other teachers and by the end you will feel networked, connected, and empowered
Thank you. I’m now going to switch to my second presentation which is true teachmeet style should also take no longer than seven minutes.
Just what is a TeachMeet and why should I care?
Just what is a TeachMeet anyway
and why should I care?
Teacher and TeachMeet Australia
TeachMeets – A definition
• Teachmeets are informal, collaborative events
organised by educators for educators.
• Any educator can host a TeachMeet anywhere
and at anytime.
• They do not involve paid or commercial