TeachMeet London: “The greatest teacher-led CPD event, ever.”

By Tuesday, May 12, 2015 No tags Permalink

On 1st April 2015, over 250 teachers headed to Quintin Kynaston in St John’s Wood for what promised to be one of London’s biggest ever TeachMeets. For many this was the school holidays, some had travelled from as far away as Hull, north Wales and the Isle of Man. This really was grassroots teacher improvement, led by teachers themselves. Everyone who attended was taking personal responsibility for their own CPD and giving up their evening to become a better teacher.

A TeachMeet is an organised but informal meeting, in the style of an unconference, for teachers to share good practice, practical innovations and personal insights into their teaching. The first took place in a pub in Edinburgh in 2006 with just a small number of participants. TMLondon was more than likely the biggest, non-fringe TeachMeet to happen in the UK, possibly the world. During the event there was over 200 live stream viewers from all over the UK and beyond. Since the videos have been uploaded as a legacy of the event, there has been a further 4,500 views. #TMLondon trended all over the UK during the evening due to the frenzied tweeting of those both at the event and following from home.

There was a real variety of presentations from classroom teachers, school leaders and even an OFSTED inspector! When reading the blogs of those who attended, the word that appeared time and time again was ‘inspiring’. Those who attended left with a buzz and excitement about teaching, keen to return to the classroom with new ideas and a fresh approach. Topics were incredibly diverse and included a keynote from Richard Gerver. Key ideas were shared about marking, behaviour, technology, questioning, literacy, SEN, metacognition and much more! Crucially everyone seemed to leave with a smile, as well as goodies and prizes from our kind and generous sponsors.

Perhaps importantly, many teachers realised that they were not alone. There were many like-minded individuals sharing the room with them; people who really, really cared about teaching and shared in the belief that despite the stress, pressure and work-load, it is still the best job in the world. The power of social media and the world of educational blogging came together in one room, and on the virtual world of Twitter, for an evening… but it didn’t end there!

The influence of TMLondon continues long after the event. Relationships that were formed, networks that were created and connections that were made continue to be active, productive and wide-reaching. Everyone keeps asking when the next TMLondon will take place… I think the organisers need to recover first!

Authored by Andy Lewis – Head of Y10 and Assistant Subject Leader of RE, Sacred Heart of Mary Girls’ School, Upminster

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