Yesterday I attended a local teachmeet held in Narborough, Leicester. This was the first one I had attended in 2016 due to changing school in January 2016. At the teachmeet there was a select few (5 to be exact). So small in Teachmeet terms. The teachmeet idea was set up as a platform for sharing and discussing ideas and this was exactly what it was. There was a wide range of experiences in the room; from Head teacher to NQT. But this didn’t matter, we all came together to talk about what mattered to us. The idea behind this was that educators talk and then other interject if they have an idea to add, a website/app that will help or a differing opinion. This Teachmeet model allowed for others to voice their opinions and to not feel that they needed to have prepared beforehand. I went along with nothing and just spoke as ideas came to me. The conversation flowed for over 2 hours and I can safely say that from my perspective it was nice to see educators just talking about what they do instead of trying to pitch an idea, sell a product or convince others this is the future!
Personally I have never been a huge fan of trying to get your teaching mantra into a 2-minute presentation or trying to put a years worth of research into a 7-minute space. Often you leave the floor think; have I said enough? Did it come across as interesting? Did people really listen because they were interested or were they just being polite? Teachmeets are awesome but some have become very commercialised, lets get back to basics, lets get back to talking!
A teachmeet should be an space for sharing ideas and for conversation! This was the first of this type that I have seen and I very much hope that this will be something that is echoed up and down the country. Get educators talking over a tea, a beer or a coffee and get them sharing and listen. We tell the children within our schools that they need to listen, take turns and value to others opinions, maybe it is time as adults we do the same. Listen and talk about what matters within education, no agenda, no gimmicks, no freebie, just people together talking and debating their experiences. To me this seems a very powerful way of bring others together.