in a whirlwind of creativity and inspired by Action Jackson’s mindset of ‘book a date. Then stick to it,’ I set a date back in October to run my own Teachmeet. I suffer hugely from imposter syndrome and spend a great deal of my time feeling like I am simply doing a fantastic (at best, passable) impression of someone that knows what she is doing, surrounded by people on Twitter that are far more knowledgeable and informed than I and the process of organised TMLeics has both fuelled and dismissed this in equal measure.
I read the helpful notes from Dan Williams, along with a few blogs that talked me through the process and then still with very little clue, got stuck in. Asking my new DH with a pretty please on top if I could use the school as a venue, I then made a list of local businesses that either had an educational background or a vested interest in investing in local projects and picked up the phone. Armed then with a list of email addresses, I began to compile an email outlining my plans and how they could perhaps support. To my amazement, ETeach got in touch asking for more information as to what I would require to fund my project and a more concrete idea of what the event would look like.
Well. Great question ETeach. So, I got in touch with the most inspirational man that I had seen talk about positivity and generally got me excited about the more challenging side of education, Mr Paul Dix, @pivotalpaul. I asked him to lead as keynote because I knew that he shared my vision- to shake up the concept of behaviour management to taking less presidency over sanction and more focus towards forming relationships and nurturing every individual’s basic desire to please others. Now what?
Freebies. I asked myself what I would want from a Teachmeet that I would be interested to attend. Fantastic speakers from a classroom background, practical and simple ideas and approaches and most importantly, cake. A mid week Teachmeet is a tall order for those at the front line after a tough day with the small folk, and sugar would definitely be a deciding factor for me. So I made a kind, relentless and repetitive plea to the people that I would want to showcase to Leicestershire- the practicitioners that I respected and shared the can do attitude that gets me excited about being a teacher (Amjad Ali definitely still owes me on this- my weekly compliments haven’t yet got him up the motorway but there is time yet!)- people that I would love to sit and listen to because their fantastic ideas and attitude have inspired me countless times over the last couple of years. Namely, @lessontoolbox, @kvnmcl, @positiveweather, @thelearnmaker, @furtheredagogy…
Ok! So now we have a few speakers, I suppose I needed to present as well. We’ll get to that.. But first? Prizes. Teachers LOVE a freebie; we are only human, contrary to popular belief ( classroom cupboards as sleeping spots, no life outside the school-‘Miss, I seen you in Sainsburys! Doing FOOD SHOPPING!’). So I once again put on my best smile and asked nicely for support from our lovely sponsors. Thanks to Toshiba, Peppercorns catering, Twinkl resources along with some lovely authors, I had a fab collection of treats.
Then there is that moment where tickets started being scooped up. FAST. BY Christmas, we were nearly at full capacity and it became apparent that I was more concerned about people coming to an event without the number of speakers that I had originally planned rather than a heap of presenters turning up to a half empty event. Even worse, did we need a bigger room? Had I even thought through a contingency for this? I still have the fear that on the seventeenth of March, one will outweigh the other and the memories of a badly organised birthday bash will come flooding back.
Why am I writing this now, rather than post event? It is important to me to remember WHY I arranged this, rather than HOW things work out, and where I can improve it to make it bigger and better for next time (I have high and very realistic hopes for Teachmeet Mids next year). A little self indulgent, but I wanted to celebrate the good points of this process which I know will personally be far more difficult after the event. How beer above all, I wanted to point out how easy it can be to do something if you feel truly passionate (Urgh, that word) about something.
Teaching and learning is paramount and central to everything that I practice, follow and inform myself on. I cannot expect everyone to agree with my own belief system, but if there is something that means this much to you, just go ahead and do it. That way, even if it is a tiny thing, you have just managed to change the world a little bit. That’s kind of cool, right?