What is a TeachMeet?
What is a TeachMeet?
A TeachMeet is a place for teachers to share their experience of teaching, from best practice, good ideas, interesting observations, tried and tested methods, and new innovations. The first TeachMeet was held in 2006 and since then the number has exploded. A quick search on Eventbrite will reveal the popularity of TeachMeets, both physical and digital.
I would argue this comes down to teachers becoming sick of negative staff room atmosphere and complaining on Twitter. Constructive criticism is healthy, but sharing ways of solving problems is and always will be more popular. Teachers want to pass on positivity, and TeachMeets are a great opportunity to do this.
What makes a good TeachMeet?
I’ve been to over a dozen TeachMeets and I’ve presented at a fair few. In my opinion, the best TeachMeets focus on actionable strategies and tried and tested methods. They do not dwell too long on pedagogy, as that leaves you still asking what to do to solve the problem.
I have attended a TeachMeet with a 5-minute speaking limit, and the speaker didn’t move on from the pedagogy by the end of the talk. So I knew all about attachment disorders and why they are so prevalent but had no idea of any actionable strategies beyond this.
The best TeachMeets also have a timekeeper who keeps the speakers on time and stops them from going over. This is easier in physical TeachMeets.
How do you organise a TeachMeet?
You can host a TeachMeet anywhere, even in the pub. Anywhere where teachers are given the floor to share their experiences, positive and negative, and what you can do tomorrow to change your classroom practice. Many TeachMeets are now being held as webinars to overcome geographical, financial and time barriers. Anyone can attend a digital TeachMeet, wherever they are in the country, at little or no cost, and at a time that suits them.
My friend has recently had a baby and loved the fact he could listen to our recent TeachMeet whilst with his son. This is the benefit of a digital TeachMeet - you can get CPD in an area you are interested in whilst doing other things.
What is our next TeachMeet about?
The government have allocated funding to increase pupils’ physical activity, and the UK Chief Medical Officer has advised pupils to need 60 minutes of activity a day including 30 minutes at school. This is a challenge to many teachers who already have high workloads and timetables that are already focussing on key skills and assessed subjects.
However, as teachers, we have a duty to help pupils and one aspect of that is helping them develop healthy lifestyles. Therefore our TeachMeet is focussed on achieving 30 minutes of activity a day within constraints.
We have three talks on experts in this area:
- Dr Gareth Jones from Sheffield Hallam, who will be speaking on the importance of physical activity and the evidence that can help inform our strategies.
- Amy Boyse is a teacher and Content Writer for Twinkl Move, which provides resources to help teachers improve activity in their classroom.
- Ian Holmes is the Headteacher of the Thorner School near Leeds.
Why should I attend on the 24th October at 6.30pm?
Unlike traditional TeachMeets, because ours is digital you can hear actionable strategies to use in your classroom from home, at school, at the gym, wherever you happen to be at 6.30 pm! As you type your questions, there is no need to speak or worry about background noise either.
It's also completely free! You can sign up here.
Our Google Meet link is https://meet.google.com/vmt-vbfd-nro. You can access this from any time from a Google chrome browser to check it works for you.
OneStep CPD champions authors, teachers and pedagogists through our strategies, allowing everyone to test ideas and adopt what works. Our blog does the same, providing a platform for anyone with an interest in education to share good practice and great ideas.
All opinions are those of the author and not necessarily OneStep CPD.