#TMSolutions : the founding party

I understand the irony of writing a post about an event that isn’t about ego on a blog that bears my name.  Truth is, I didn’t really have a plan past getting some teachers in a pub and I am indebted to the wonderful Leah for thinking about things like food, nibbles, venue, plan. Well, pretty much the lot.

Anyway, here’s what went on and the intention is a kind of ‘how to’ guide. The one reflection that I have is that I would have liked more local teachers there, or indeed a similar event for an individual school. After all, these events are fantastic, but if teachers aren’t addressing the internal differences within their own institutions, the impact is only every going to be limited. However, I took a lot from the event and, on the back of a truly shit week and morning, the energy, commitment and enthusiasm of those who came along was a true inspiration.  I wriggled away with far more than I came with – indeed I was that annoying bloke who kept redirecting the conversations.

Anyway, a massive thank you to the founding participants. You’re all inspirational and I loved listening to the conversations.

Here’s what we did:
1. Had coffee.
2. The conversation and energy in the room had already started, but we all wrote down the one thing that we hate about education. Then we scrunched those thoughts in to a ball and physically threw them across the room. Conversations were about solutions not sorrow and we all believed that teachers are the agents of change.
3. We talked about the stuff we wanted to talk to. Some of us had pints, others coffee. The rule of two feet meant that it was ok to leave some conversations and join others. We added ideas to the poster (thank you Leah) and shared cracking solutions around workload, leading, differentiation, marking, modelling, challenge, ensuring KS3 isn’t wasted, behaviour…. The list went on.
That was it. Apart from food and frolics around Brighton.

As a personal reflection, it was the best external CPD I’ve been involved with for a long time because it was three hours (and more) of the best part about TeachMeets: talking to teachers about teaching without any barriers or taboos.  The best CPD takes part within schools.

I hope that everyone left with something and a massive thank you to Earth and Stars pub and Flower Pot Bakery (amazing bread) and the local Sainsbury’s (Tea and Coffee) for providing the stuff for nothing and expecting nothing in return.

We’ll leave you with some questions:

  • What are you doing to enable teachers to talk to teachers about teaching? 
  • What are you doing to create a campfire culture where teachers are the driving force of change?

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