Teachers Talking About Teaching

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How can we encourage all teachers to have a voice at professional development events?

On Thursday 14th July, over 100 teachers came together to discuss education.

I write on the morning after #TMLondonBoat – with a sense of pride of what has just happened – a professional development event on a boat, on London’s River Thames. The event itself was an incredible success. Only last month, I suggested that a new horizon was evolving for teachers; a forum to encourage all those attending, to contribute.

An alternative way …

Over the past 10 years, we have seen TeachMeets spread across the UK like wildfire!

I’ve taken part in plenty and have organised just as many behind the scenes; designed to bring teachers together to share classroom practise. However, more and more, I have questioned the same faces and voices – including myself – who are always standing in the limelight. With this in mind, we must start to provide an opportunity for every teacher to be able to have their voices heard. In order to do this, I have outlined below how it can be achieved.

How the format works:

You can listen to the start of the event and watch below, an introduction to the programme for those attending.

Planning:

When teachers arrived at #TMLondonBoat, each received one of the following question slips. There were given 20-30 minutes to mingle and record a question or thought onto the piece of paper. This was then handed back in to one of the event organisers. As soon as the programme and questions were handed out, as event organisers we waited …

The guidelines for the evening were also shared in advance and distributed on a blank timetable as people arrived.

Guidelines TMLondon TMlondonBoat TeachMeet CPD

You can download all the templates in the footer.

Designing the timetable:

Fifteen or so minutes later, we collected the questions and divided the proposals into themes. Below you can see us working on the format for the evening – live at the event – curating a timetable based on what the audience wanted to discuss. Once there was a running order of events, we shared the programme via the #TMLondonBoat hashtag on Twitter and announced the topics to the audience. There were 4 sessions, each 15 minutes in length. n.b. ensure you have someone with legible writing and a steady surface on which to write!

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Feedback:

Here is a short video capturing feedback from teachers who attended.

You can watch other videos snippets here. Thank you to @eyebeams for his excellent filming and live-stream to the web.

My summary is below:

Gallery:

Here are some great images capturing the evening from start to finish.

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Download:

You can download the following templates below:

Thank you to Pivotal Education, Class Charts and 4Matrix for making it possible. And of course to the wonderful group of hosts who made it all possible:

Until the next time, let’s get teachers talking more about education.

 

@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of being most influential in the field of education. He remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing resources and ideas online as @TeacherToolkit, he has built this website (c2008) which has been described as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the UK Blog Awards (2018). Read more...

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