Wednesday, 9 January 2013

In-school Mini-teachmeet

In the midst of the announcements and the consultations and defibrillator training in our training day on Monday, there was just under an hour of really lovely professional collaboration and sharing.  This was the Mini-Teachmeet - an idea I had mooted during an #SLTchat about a month ago, and which had received a bag-full of retweets and so forth.  I thought that using the teachmeet format within school - basically getting teachers to share practice for 5 minutes in front of everyone else - would be a really positive move, and would possibly lead the way to a full teachmeet in the near future.

Being a lowly teacher with no TLR or authority, I had to get this ok'd by the SLT, but luckily they were very happy to let it happen.  I just had to find willing teachers.  Now, we all know how hard it can be to get busy teachers to do extra stuff, and I was worried that no-one would have time to help out.  The training day was just after Christmas, and obviously only the very mad would want to spend the yuletide period preparing for a presentation in front of their peers.  I was contemplating the possibility of doing it myself, possibly in a variety of costumes.

However, I needn't have worried.  People from all departments were happy to chip in, and before I knew it the complement of 10 teachers had been filled.  This is important, as it shows that a notional barrier against doing this kind of thing (teachers hating the idea) doesn't, perhaps, exist.  We had a wide range of topics, too, from nearly every department of the school.  It was possibly a little English-heavy, but sue me.  We English-ites love to show off our poncey ideas, so that's to be expected.

The session had been placed into the 9.30-10.30 time slot - just before coffee - which would ensure maximum levels of 'awake' and 'enthusiastic'.  I have a feeling it would have fallen flat on its face if set after lunch, but a morning slot gave it a good chance of succeeding.  And succeed it did.  The 10 contributors were funny, enthusiastic, passionate and knowledgeable, sharing their ideas with clarity and a range of kinaesthetic activities.  The full running order is below, and as you'll see the variety of topics was superb.  The audience were consistently interested, and seemed to take away a host of great new ideas.  In all, it was a wonderfully positive way to start the term, and I hope that we make it a regular feature.  I would whole-heartedly recommend that other schools follow suit and organise something similar for their training days.

Topics discussed:

BTEC Coursework and use of diagrams for learning
Edmodo and its applications
Memory aids for fact-heavy subjects
PPPB Questioning
Time management
Running Dictation
Playdough usage
Tweachers and Twittering
Pass the Bomb
Wow lessons and their application.

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