Starting at 5pm (yes… after School), 300+ teachers from across all the educational sectors got together to share concepts, collaborate, start new projects, discuss technology and generally explore the nature, purpose and possibilities of education.
I’ve written of the TeachMeet phenomenon before and this event format was similar to previous TeachMeets, albeit on a larger scale, with teachers presenting either 2min or 7min presentations, while others facilitated 15min workshops to explore all manner of things from apps to worldwide collaborative projects – all for free, of their own volition and in their own time.
The evening wrapped up at about 8.30pm with everyone inspired to do what they originally came into the profession… To Make a Difference.
So what were my takeaways from the evening?
Apart from some interesting ideas to try out in my own teaching and a goal to host a TeachMeet at my school:
- I further strengthened my connections with some of my Twitter Heroes. Some of whom I have “known” for well over 12 months, shared ideas with and even disagreed with, but until tonight had never met them face-to-face.
- To listen the media’s coverage of education, you’d be forgiven for thinking education can be reduced to simply competition. League tables, NAPLAN, MySchool, international comparisons and the Gonski Report are all interpreted in a manner that ensures a headline – often at the expense of the facts in context. Tonight there was no sense competition, no consideration for the fact that by sharing your own practice, the school down the road could improve their MySchool ranking. Tonight there was an overwhelming sense of collaboration.
- Politicians to not start revolutions. The people do. And last Friday, the people spoke, the people listened, the people cared and the revolution has momentum.
Forget politicians’ glib references to Educational Revolutions and start collaborating with the staff in your own school to ensure the kind of education you envisaged when you applied for teacher training. I am yet to meet a single teacher who went into teaching simply to impress their principal with their class’ NAPLAN or HSC scores.
Start collaborating with the school down the road, see what they’re doing – forget MySchool.
Start collaborating with teachers interstate or internationally via any number of online platforms.
Attend a TeachMeet, or if there isn’t one near you… host your own and Vive le Revolution!
Big thanks to @mesterman, @simoncrook, @henriettami, @benpaddlejones, @edusum, @liamdunphy, @pipcleaves, @7MrsJames, @malynmawby, @cpaterso, @mickprest, @townesy77, @jpilearn & @pehogg for their hard work in putting this event together on the night, and in the months leading up to it!
You can see a shortened (3m30s) version of my 7min talk on Facing Up to The Fear of Failure by clicking here.