I’m about to take part in my first Teachmeet and I’m terrified. Terrified of the unknown. My hands sweat when I think about it, my heart beats just that little bit faster. I think of excuses to get out of it. Possible family crises or work load issues which mean, well, so sorry to let you down but, as you will understand being a teacher as well and all that, that these things do happen. Sorry. Maybe next time. I won’t, of course; because Teachmeet is the way forward and I want to be a part of it.
I stand up and talk for a living; I do it every day of my life. I’ve spoken to huge groups of kids and other teachers many of which, I would almost guarantee, were not interested in what I was saying or, even, nodded politely and went about their day. Somehow this feels different. Teachmeet seems to suggest groups of optimistic, creative human beings actively looking to meet up with likeminded others. These people might actually want to know what I have to say. Aye there’s the rub. No hiding place. There is a real risk that I might have to ‘walk the walk’ instead of just blogging the talk.
The DIY style of CPD which Teachmeet seems to promote is one of the most exciting ventures I’ve come across in Education for many a year. The near flash mob mentality of a group of educators meeting up to talk about great stuff is exciting and what many of us have needed for ages. It seems to be the natural extension of Blogging and Tweeting, both of which have transformed my teaching career. But what use is an interesting piece of writing if no-one does anything about it? If it doesn’t change anything, what’s the point? Perhaps Teachmeet will force me to follow up my ideas, develop them, batter them into submission and do something to follow up on my ramblings.
I won’t be breaking any new ground on Tuesday; there will be no rallying cry or revolutionary ideas. I don’t think that is the point. I will stand up for two minutes and let loose a thought, see where it takes me. However, I will look around the room and consider it a real privilege to be there and a reminder that, when we get bogged down in the minutiae of school or departmental issues, teaching is an optimistic profession, filled with optimistic, creative, amazing people.
I’ll only be up there for two minutes; what could possibly go wrong? Wish me luck.