Last summer I attended my first TeachMeet with Emily (@emilywilson82) a colleague from school. We are both self-confessed geeks and loved the format of quick-fire presentations with practical ideas that could be taken into the classroom. Returning to school we quickly decided we wanted to steal these ideas and run an in-house TeachMeet.
It seemed silly to call it TeachMeet, as it wouldn’t be this big, but we wanted to keep the format, so came up with the name TeachEat, a name similar enough that those in the know would understand but different enough to differentiate us from its big brother. Additionally, we decided to run it at lunchtimes and after school (cake time) hence the eat bit!
So the format of TeachEat! Finding a time to please all staff would never happen, as lunch to some was sacred and to others after school was a no-no due the school run. Simple, Teacheat would be run twice, once on a Tuesday lunch, then repeated after school on a Thursday. We loved the micro-presentations from TeachMeet and worked out we could get three 7 minute presentations in one session, this meant three ideas in just over 20 minutes, time that would infringe on no one, no matter how busy.
For the first TeachMeet we decided it would be weird if we presented so we bribed a few colleagues and ended up with the Head of Maths explaining why they had achieved such ace GCSE results (lots of monitoring, lots of exam practice), an art teacher who gave a demo of a fab independent learning activity that could be used in any subject and a science teacher who described how she had given three extremely able students totally free rein to complete a project rather than study for their GCSEs (they still got A*s I should add!). So presentations sorted, now to advertise, we began with putting up QR codes (a mistake as barely anyone owns a smartphone or knew how to use one), then Emily made a fab logo as we wanted to make it look professional and we littered the staffroom with posters (often it seems old skool is best). We knew environment was key to its success, so we bought (or baked) lots of cakes and picked a room in school where group seating was present.
In the end we had 26 staff across the two sessions, from the Deputy head to an LSA and it was a great success. Everyone loved the format and its onwards and upwards for us. Who knows what next term will bring – I cannot recommend any more highly that you give this a go yourself.
p.s. Since the first TeachEat I went to another TeachMeet and Jamie Portman (@jamieportman) gave a video presentation on how his school is also doing this. Its hosted on http://ictevangelist.com/ and on Jamie’s Vimeo account http://vimeo.com/30813584