It was a miserable wet Saturday morning, as I made my way to Manly and climbed down the stairs to the laundry block at Manly Quarantine Station. I was a little nervous, not that many people had registered for this TeachMeet and we had already had a few dropouts. Looking at the rain I was worried that no one would bother to come.
I need not have worried though, as although we were a smaller crowd than expected, we were definitely a quality group. We all enjoyed a morning of conversation, sharing and networking. As well as fabulously informative tours of the wonderfully evocative Quarantine Station. Not to mention some delicious cakes!
When I go to a TeachMeet I always try to leave with something I can put into practice immediately, a tool I want to explore further about and a reading or teaching idea that I will try to learn more about in the future.
Yesterday I came away with these nuggets.
Can I restrict all my ‘teacher talk’ to seven minutes or less per lesson? I think I already do this but I am going to put my class on notice to time me. There are of course moments when explicit teaching is vital but we all know teachers who appear to love the sound of their own voice. This one seems a worthy goal for any teacher.
I was also reminded to look more closely at Mindfulness in my classroom, as well as in my personal life. I already practice yoga for myself but could my students benefit from also slowing down and becoming more mindful? There are those who are now arguing that we should ask our students to look more closely at one primary source, rather than attempting to rush through everything in search of content. There is definitely merit in my exploring this idea further.
The tools I am going to explore are add-ons for google docs. Doctopus takes a google doc so that the owner can share and make new copies of it. And
Goobric can be used to to mark assessments. It brings down a rubric which one can use to mark in real time.
So thanks to all the fabulous teachers who came to Manly, my TeachMeet buddy Chantelle and the Q Station Education Manager Julie, it was a great way to spend a Saturday morning. Learning, sharing and networking. It was also interesting to read on Twitter that TeachMeet Melbourne was also on Saturday so we were not the only group of teachers learning from each other.