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Our teaching experience is much richer when we share and get
fresh ideas and perspectives from others
By and large, teachers are a very creative bunch of people. There's a
lot of scope for creativity even in the most prescriptive unit. It's
all in the delivery. When the pressures in life compound, they can
squeeze the creative life out of us when we have to meet deadlines,
validation and ‘show continuous improvement'. There just doesn't seem
to be enough hours in the day. However, looking for small windows of
opportunity to spark that creative and innovative part of ourselves
can be closer than we think.
Recently I organised the first Central
Coast TeachMeet. TeachMeets have been happening all around
Australia now for the last three years. They are free professional
development evenings organised by teachers for teachers. These events
are organised to encourage, inspire, support, present and network with
other like-minded teachers who want to share what's working in their
classrooms, schools and TAFE colleges. The Central Coast TeachMeet
involved teachers making presentations of either two or seven minutes.
The night was divided into two parts, 40 minutes and about 10
presenters each session. The richness of the sharing was amazing and
all teachers went away with free resources, ideas and new connections.
Such was the outpouring of support for the event that we'll be having
another one in March 2014. Starting a grassroots event hasn't been
easy. In an ever increasingly busy world it's much harder to go it
alone than to have a whole group of teachers providing support and
encouragement. Stepping out of my comfort zone to get feedback from
teachers from different schools and organisations gave me a fresh
perspective on what I've been doing. Just knowing that others were
facing the same struggles helped me feel less alone in mine.
When I first went into teaching I wanted to help students. I
fundamentally wanted to make a difference. So TeachMeet fitted in well
with my own personal philosophy about teaching. Sharing my resources
and experiences not only benefits the students that I teach directly,
but through other teachers I engage with at TeachMeet I can have an
impact on students I'll never even know. This is why sharing is so
important. Our teaching experience is much richer when we share and
get fresh ideas and perspectives from others.
If you would like to organise a TeachMeet then please don't hesitate
to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.