After-school club…

My First TeachMeet – why I loved it!

Sandwiched between TeachMeet Bett and the official closing of Bett exhibitions for the day, we were treated to a spoken-word performance – I cannot begin to imagine the talent required, but more importantly the grit Beyonder possesses (@dcosmic), to write so eloquently and perform so fluidly and fluently – a more fitting close to the day could not have been possible.

Except this wasn’t the end of the day for me – I was going to after-school club!  TeachMeet has been around for 10 years, but I have only heard of it recently, and this was my first one to attend – a virgin by all accounts!  The idea behind it is for teachers to get together in an informal environment and share thoughts, issues, good practice and generally help each other out.  Four 7-minute presentations kicked things off.

TeachMeet Main Acts

Indefatigably positive, @Nataliehscott talked of her experiences working in #thejungle, aka Calais, and Dunkirk.  To say the children are lucky with the provision in our schools here is an understatement; it is hard to fathom that children on our doorstep attend school in a tent, in a mud-bath, where they don’t even have enough white paint to complete the alphabet on the canvas walls.  If you would like to find out more about how you can help, click the link: bit.ly/school4all   All the proceeds from the sale of the upcoming book celebrating 10 years of TeachMeets will go to this worthy cause.

With emotions quite raw, Natalie was an extremely hard act to follow.  But Nic Hughes (@duckstar) was the perfect candidate – complete with flashing LEDs donning his jacket, I never knew Robotics in class could evoke such passion!

Next up was Serena Davies (@serenadavies1) on her experience of flipped learning with her class in Wales – another great example of resilience; followed by the whirlwind that is Alan O’Donohue (@teknoteacher) on a fantastic concept he calls ‘Sabotage’, in coding.

My Moment in the Spotlight!

Not understanding the scale of the event, I put my name (@dylan_dmc & @steppingintobiz) down for a nano-presentation of 2 minutes on ‘Giving the curriculum relevancy through the medium of enterprise’ and with the luck of the Irish my name was first out of the hat!  Not so lucky was the fact that my small presentation could not be located on the server, so I gave a brief talk on how harnessing entrepreneurial spirit in school is a win-win situation for all involved – the school can raise money, engage stakeholders and most importantly, present children with a real-life opportunity to solve problems that are important to them through innovative and creative thinking.  The importance of teamwork also becomes extremely evident through project-based learning such as this; the need to surround yourself with people of a different perspective and different skillsets.  There are many more lifeskills that come to the fore too, but I won’t elaborate here as I only had 2 minutes…which seemed like an eternity on the stage!

DMC @Bett

Check these Tweeters out for more teaching inspiration:

As the night progressed, the presentations came thick and fast…here is a round-up of the ones I managed to make some notes on! (Did I mention the free bar?!)

@ICTMagic shared some technical know-how, gems in fact, and also kept everything running smoothly on the night.

@MissBsResources shared her thoughts and ideas on ‘mathitude’, which is another topic close to my heart – why is it OK for people to say they are rubbish at maths?  We never hear anyone say the same about reading!

@JMSDMND (James Diamond without the vowels!) on the power of video games as a legitimate medium for engaging kids was brilliant – he is someone I’d love to talk to in more detail.

@simcloughlin shared his experiences on skype calls with his Y2 class to a range of people from staff in Buckingham palace to authors on holiday in Spain  – aptly titled “Shy Bairns Get Nowt”  – which translates to Don’t ask, don’t get!

A real highlight was @joannapnorton who shared insights on re-imagining education and her work on innovation models around the world – from the world’s smallest airport in Rwanda, to the eco-evolution in Paris by 2050.  Unimaginable stuff – or not, in this case!

@amazingict showed us a space project from his school using green screen technology, which I can imagine every child in primary school loving, especially with it being so topical at the moment.

@MrHeadComputing’s nano-presentation links this concept and mine – as with his guidance, the children in his school created customisable keyrings, also using green screen technology, which they sold at the Christmas fair.

@Jackcabnory wrapped things up; talking about his life in transition from that of a London cabbie with an abnormally large hippocampus, to training to be a teacher! #inspiring

However, despite not being the last to present, I have saved what was undoubtedly the best, for last.  @mrlockyer was brilliant – and although his presentation didn’t go as planned – it was by far the best 7 minutes – I couldn’t stop laughing throughout! :’)  Unfortunately I’m still not sure what he was supposed to talk about!  But his twitter page is full of good stuff!

TeachEat

With TeachMeet coming to a close, we moved across the bridge to the bar for #TeachEat where the fun and frolics continued, but I won’t go into that now. Let’s leave it at:

I’m no longer a Bett or TeachMeet virgin, and I recommend you lose your so-called virginity as soon as you can!  You have to wait a year for Bett – but there will be a TeachMeet near you somewhere soon!  Most are listed here:

TeachMeet calendar

Get yourself there!

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Published by: Dylan McCarthy

Primary school teacher for 10+ years; I am always looking for ways to engage children in their learning and encourage independent, self-motivated learners. Giving lessons context by making them relevant to students, regardless of age, is the key to unlocking even the most reluctant learners potential and enthusiasm; ultimately helping them find their own route to happiness in life. A big believer in building up resilience and promoting teamwork! Talent X Effort = Achievement

Categories BETT, Education, Learning opportunities, TeachMeetTags, , , , Leave a comment

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