TeachMeets have been taking place in the UK for five years now and they are well established as a fabulous way to increase teachers’ professional development and to build personal networks with other teachers. In fact so successful are they, that most of them end with a TeachMeet Eat dinner!

Here in Australia we are lagging a bit behind but the second ever Sydney TeachMeet took place this week on a cold and rainy afternoon at Brigidine College St Ives. Titled Sydney TeachMeet North it was the brain child of Matt Esterman a secondary teacher at Brigidine and unlike the previous Primary Sydney TeachMeet it followed a more traditional format of seven and two minute presentations. You can find a full list of the nights presentations on the TeachMeet wiki here.

Some of the presentations included:

My first ever pecha kucha which I called Engage, Empower and Evaluate with web.2.0 tools . I was fairly happy with my presentation, apart from feeling that I needed to either reduce the amount I spoke, or increase the time I spoke for. Twenty slides @ twenty seconds per slide to run for seven minutes, is an unforgiving amount of time. It certainly proved a challenge to keep to that time frame for several presenters.

Linda Fogg Phillips from the group facebookforparents came to us via skype, she discussed Facebook in education and the implications for teachers. She said that in their work with parents and teachers, they focus on “how to think” about Facebook more than “what to do.” She stated that it is not enough that as teachers we wash our hands of facebook. We need to understand and work with it so as to teach our students how to keep safe within it.

Liam Dunphy from St Augustine’s College told us about his Globally Connected Classrooms project, which sounds really interesting and definitely one my class will become involved in.

Summer Charlesworth gave an inspiring pecha kucha which challenged our traditional preconceptions on what makes an interesting and authentic assessment task for secondary students. She called this What If?- Assessment & Big Ideas.

Summer is a middle school teacher and it was for me a delight to finally meet her and others from my PLN. And that to me is the key to the concept of TeachMeets. Meeting like minded educators in the flesh is interesting, inspiring and worth all the effort of holding such a meeting.

So my challenge to you is to get on board. Join the Sydney TeachMeet wiki. We have pages ready and waiting for you to update. TeachMeet West is happening next week, TeachMeet City, TeachMeet East, TeachMeet Cental Coast and more are waiting for someone like you to take up the challenge of holding such a meeting.

Personally, I would like to thank @mesterman @EduSum @LiamDunphy @ykombi @Kat_OMalley and the rest of the amazing educators for turning up  on a rainy winter’s Tuesday afternoon. I had a blast.

From little things big things grow.





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