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.
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.
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!
Here is a short video capturing feedback from teachers who attended.
My summary is below:
Here are some great images capturing the evening from start to finish.
You can download the following templates below:
- @ICTEvangelist – who couldn’t make it.
- and @DiLeed – who couldn’t make it.
Until the next time, let’s get teachers talking more about education.