What makes 40+ teachers give up an afternoon of their precious holidays and come from all over town to talk ‘shop’? I guess the answer is that there are a variety of motivations. Yesterday, I shared a few hours with such a group: our first Melbourne Teach Meet. I wrote about the beginnings in a previous post.
The success or otherwise of events such as this relies on participation as well as content and context. Jess McCulloch (@JessMcCulloch) set the context for us by reciting her poem “Magical Connections” – reminding us that the heart and soul of teaching lies in the children we teach and our relationship with them.
We then heard from volunteers in either 2 or 7 min spells – they shared skills, tools, experiences and passion. A great mix which I would hope provided some food for thought for all in the diverse audience. For the details see our Wiki. I came away with a variety of feelings:
Awe – at some of the clever technical things some people are doing with their students but also at the simple but powerful classroom techniques being employed
Inspiration – the feeling that I could give that a go
Camaraderie – that despite the fact that we teach in different schools, often at different levels and in different educational sectors, we share many commonalities. A face to face meeting with people who up till now have been an avatar. One even accompanied by a hug, as we felt a kindred spirit created through our long term on-line conversations .
Encouraged – the mere presence at this event encouraged the likelihood of another. It could have been a flop – everyone too interested in their holidays to take the time to participate but the vibe was positive and feedback since has been heartening. People wanted to be there !
Thankful – I am not aware of any other profession where the participants are so willing to freely share their expertise with others – the non-competitive nature of these teachers is refreshing and inspiring. It is a blessing to work in this arena and one that we may often not acknowledge.
Teach Meet’s are a wonderful and natural extension of the collaboration that so many of us receive and value in the Twitter and Blogosphere. Teachers are taking control over their own professional learning and seeking like minded people to learn along with.
I couldn’t finish this post without mentioning Henrietta Miller who inspired our first meeting. Despite efforts to include Henrietta in our meeting, technology failed us and we did not connect. Also thanks to @mr_mitch_hughes, @aimee_gale @medg56 and @Ky_Maree for making it all come together.
14 thoughts on “Teach Meet Melbourne No 1.”
I found myself nodding in agreement as I read your post!
Jess’ poem really resonated with me…we need to have meaningful connections with our students…without them it won’t work!
I loved being in a room full of educators who were passionate, engaged and WANTED to be there! It was wonderful to see all education sectors represented and people so willing to share their skills and knowledge. Like you I was both inspired and empowered by the presenters and I am determined to have a go at QR Codes!!
The highlight for me was finally meeting some of my PLN face to face! Yes, after all of our chats on Twitter a hug was in order when I met you Celia!! I laughed at Sue’s (@ MissRoomW) tweet after we got home when she said “We had to go 16km to meet when we work 4km from each other!”
The Teach Meet was a gift to each of us and a wonderful way to inspire us all to keep doing what we do because we are not on our own…
I also found it both amazing and inspiring to see so many teachers from so many state, private, primary and secondary schools all giving up time to share their passion for engaging students! Just wish the Press were there to record this! Thanks for helping to organize this event!
I agree with both you and Kim about our Tweet Meet yesterday. It really was amazing. What I loved about it is the same thing I love about Twitter and that is the ability to share our enthusiasm for teaching with other like minded people.
I love being able to take the reins and drive my own learning in the areas that I am interested and passionate about and where I feel I need help or can help others – with a great PLN.
A PLN is gold, it’s a place that is safe and devoid of pressure. There is no need to fill in forms, or hand in focus booklets or do something because someone says I have to. Let’s face it, people who are on here, attending Tweet Meets, blogging etc are already highly driven, self motivated, goal setters, reflective etc far beyond anything that can ever be reflected in paperwork. So thank you to all of you…my PLN for making showing how much I love my job a cool thing. And to all those people who say we have too much time on our hands or no life…you don’t know what you’re missing!
What I love about those sorts of events is meeting so many people who reinforce for me that it is worth persisting with change, with technology, with creativity, with passion and with innovation in my day-to-day teaching. The presentations on Friday have made me wonder what I might have to share at future Teach Meets… I’ll keep you posted on that!
Celia l have been busy in the real world rather than the virtual and have just read your post. With some prompting from you l drafted my own post on retiring home from the TMMelb that compliments yours in some ways and also resonates with the comments above. It needs some extra tweaking after being out and about and thinking it over- stay tuned, the half marathon today offered some think time. I have also watched the tweets since then – what a result the motivation and passion for learning is inspiring!! Well done – l think that TM 2 is a definite and the idea of a conference as flagged also seems like a possibility l think your crew should investigate!! You know you have the support of Blackburn south colleagues,!!!
I forever marvel that you can think while running – I would be concentrating on surviving ! Look forward to your post.
Look forward to seeing what you share at the next meeting !
It was lovely to see you again and I agree with your comments on PLN totally!
Just read a fabulous quote from W.B. Yeats which he no doubt wrote on, and with, something other than an ipad,
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire!”
I think he would be on Twitter right now had he lived a century and a half later!!Let us remember that our tools are new, but wisdom and insight have always been there for the taking.
I believe right now is an exciting, yet challenging time in education. An abundance of ideas and pathways are available for the 21st century educator. Wisdom and discernment are more crucial than ever. But, I wouldn’t swap my computer for the quill!!
Thank you, Celia, for taking the time to reflect on what was an astonishing day. As you say in your post, people from all over took time out during their holidays to connect and share. I was late unfortunately, and missed a couple of presentations (caught up with Jess’s poem online though!), and I had to leave soon after the presentations were over, but I could see the energy in the interactions and wished I could stay to meet people in person. I also shared your sense of awe about the talents amongst the cohort. We are so fortunate to be amongst people whose passion and dedication to their profession pushed them to share their knowledge and experiences online. There’s no way I could do my job without my PLN and it’s great to connect locally.
It was a great experience attending my first ever Teach Meet. I am still a little new to all this but found that everyone was so welcoming. As you mentioned the “sense of camaraderie” was astounding. It was also good to be able to put a face to the avatars!
Thank you for making the time to organise this special event. I still have so much to learn.
Thanks Sandra, I think the beauty of this type of event is that we all acknowledge and appreciate that we ALL have plenty to learn. Glad you came.
I am thrilled to see that your TeachMeet was a success and only cross that technology let me down and I was unable to skype with you on the day. As you have all acknowledged our learning never seems to stop these days. TeachMeets are such a great way for us to meet, learn, talk, network, discuss and eat together. Here’s hoping that Melbourne teachers continue to enjoy holding and attending TeachMeets. Thanks once again for holding this first one and fingers crossed for many more.
Your post highlights something that I wish I’d mentioned more in my recent post about the Sydney Teach Meet – the willingness of teachers to SHARE in a non-competitive way. TMs almost feel like a kind of ‘love-in’ – I always walk away from them with an renewed faith in humanity 🙂
Hmm. I think you’ve inspired another blog post, actually… 🙂