Tag Archives: TeachMeet

Time to rise above our station.⤴

from @ Just Trying to be Better Than Yesterday

It’s 4.30 in the morning: I can’t sleep. Today is the fourth whole school development day I’ve organised – a morning of workshops led by staff, attended by staff – and, of course, I’m convinced it’ll be a disaster. I’ve woken up with a cold so that feeling of impending doom is magnified, that ‘Imposter Syndrome’ is kicking in. It’s never gone badly before but there is always a first time and I’m pretty sure today will be the day. I’m sick of feeling like this.

I’ve spent the last  two months coaxing and cajoling colleagues into leading workshops, delivering training, sharing ideas. The number of superb colleagues who have convinced themselves that ‘I don’t do anything special’ is both mystifying and heart-breaking. What is wrong with a system whose lead specialists feel like this; worn down by s system which seems to be against them, which often treats them like the enemy? A system that treats anyone who raises their head above sea-level as a show off or a trouble maker? But we’re not allowed to rise above our station, are we?

For a year I’ve felt like that. Last December my book came out. Pretty soon after, I received two tweets from followers; one a very prominent member of the Educational Twitterati, who reminded me ‘Not to get above myself’. The other one – someone who I have met – told me, after beginning writing for TES Scotland, that I was ‘a big mouth who no-one wanted to listen to’. Both comments have never been very far way for most of this year. Oh, I know that some will think I’m massively prominent on Twitter myself. Perhaps. But I’m a humble classroom teacher who has found himself apologising for being so prominent.

I spent much of my childhood being told I’d never amount to much, much of my school life being invisible. Even when I eventually became a teacher, for the first ten years there was little expectation that I would rise above the mediocre; I’d been conditioned to think that. So, being from my background, coming from where I come from, bringing out a book is an extreme rarity. As a result, I find it hugely difficult and uncomfortable to accept compliments. I expect and anticipate that someone will try to burst my bubble. And that means I turn down a load of offers to speak about my book. No more.

For anyone who is reading this, perhaps recognising these feelings, sharing my upbringing and background, it’s time to get above our station. It’s time to break free from sneering negativity and acceptance of mediocrity. I’m just a teacher like you; I’ve been fortunate enough to find myself in a position where I can write a book. But for all of us, it’s time to shout from the rooftops – both literally and metaphorically; write if you don’t want to shout – that we have things to to say; that we will no longer be silent and humble and shy about the great things we do in our classrooms. Lift your head up; look people in the eyes: you are a teacher.


#4countries Post-Brexit.⤴

from @ Just Trying to be Better Than Yesterday

When it was created back in 2011, part of the thinking behind Pedagoo was the belief  that if you put a group of teachers in a room and allowed them the time and space to discuss all things education, then great things can happen. Put them in a nice room? Even better. Treat them like intelligent professionals? Fantastic. I’ve just returned from a weekend at the Norton House Hotel where I spent two days with 25 educators from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. And, yes, great things did happen. Seven hours of sessions on Saturday, four on Sunday, ram-packed with intelligent conversation, searching for common ground.

And it went on through dinner and breakfast. Other than a set of bullet points for discussion there was no plan, no agenda. We found a path through the complexities of each of the four education systems and began to discover a way forward. It was a challenging and exhausting experience – by five thirty on Saturday I was out for the count – but hugely rewarding and wonderfully invigorating. While recognising the blocks to progress, what was fascinating to find out was the huge ambition and focused determination to overcome those barriers.

As we began, what was striking was that after the initial moans and groans about our respective education systems, the pride and joy we felt about the job we do every day in our communities shone through in every conversation. We started in our own countries, developing themes for debate and recognising areas for development, and as we moved into mixed groups, the room came alive. We probed and pushed, explained and extrapolated. There was serious debate and loads of laughter. But we began to focus on the things that we may learn from each other in post-Brexit Britain. Whether we feel that the UK is on its last legs or at the beginning of a new, golden age, we can still share the vision we have for our children.

In my group, when asked ‘From what you’ve heard about the context, if you could move to any of the other countries, which one would you move to?’, every single person knew that they would stay where they were. For what better way of changing things for the better than working hard to enhance our own communities. The (very) real David Cameron reminded us of Debra Kidd’s line from ‘Notes from the Front Line’: “it is pedagogical activism that will prove to be the butterfly wing of change” .

Sitting at dinner on Friday night, slightly nervous, none of us really knew what to expect. By Sunday, we left with greater resolve and determination to go back to our schools with a rebooted energy to continue to fight to enhance the life of the children we serve.

I left with a greater understanding of the difficult issues teachers from other UK countries have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. However, there were also wonderfully inspiring tales of hope and aspiration from everywhere; a determination to succeed against difficult odds because we all understood why it was important. It was an honour to be invited to the #4countries conference; an honour to meet such inspirational people, people I can now call friends. No matter our political futures, we understand that education exists to allow the children we teach to become empathetic global citizens; to strive to be the best that they can be. They will need to be.


Teachmeet Firestarter 2017.⤴

from

It was cold. Cold like winter. In fact, it was winter, but 15 teachers from across the region started fires, literally and metaphorically.

The first part of the teachmeet involved using steel and flints to spark onto a cotton wool pad which had some vaseline on it. It was huge fun. I think your class would like it.

Once we’d managed a spark and ignited the cotton wool we added the kindle we’d been taught how to split and gradually built our fires. Some were in Kelly Cans and one was in a colander with a trivet on the top. Simple, but huge fun. We boiled the water in the Kelly Cans and mashed ourselves a cup of tea. I know my class would love this, all of them and when they went home that night I reckon they’d tell their folks.

Matt from Grounds for Learning explained how to keep it safe, how to use the equipment and gave examples of the ages of children who’ve done this. You’d be surprised.

Aileen gave out some red strips of paper to add to the fire with our reasons we don’t do more outdoor learning. For me it’s really a bit of laziness. I know when I’ve gone outside with my classes they’ve loved it and they are engaged. Engaging children is something I believe is vital to our children getting the most from school life. I burned my laziness paper, I need to do a bit better.

The more traditional teachmeet section that followed was, as always, interesting. Listening to teachers talk about what they do, why they do it and the impact it has always is. Listening to Aileen talk about children needing recent experiences to talk and write about sparked my thoughts. I need to get my class outdoors a bit more. Teacher after teacher talked about outdoor experiences they had with their classes and each one spoke of the engagement with the traditionally ‘hard to reach’ groups of children.

Our final challenge was to write and then share:

‘What fires are you going to start:

In yourself?

In your class?

In your school?’

 

Well, I am going to take my class out once a week for at least half an hour of learning – I’m thinking this will be maths as this is an area I feel comfortable with and happy to challenge myself with.

In my school, I’m going to tell people how much my class enjoyed going out and offer to share the learning we’ve done and resources we’ve used.

In myself, I’m going to get my outdoor clothing organised so I can go out whatever the weather with my class!

 

Many thanks to Matt and Aileen. Grounds for Learning is know in the rest of the UK as ‘Learning Through Landscapes’.  Their website has lots of resources and ideas.

It really was cold, but it was worth it and I will make sure my children’s learning benefits.

 

TeachMeet.scot⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

Over the years I’ve enjoyed being part of Teach Meet. This new site aims to help promote TeachMeets in Scotland TeachMeet.scot.

From pretty much the start TeachMeets have been organised on the TeachMeet wiki. This can at times get a little messy. There has been various attempts to tidy it up, some breakaway sites. I even worked on an attempt inspired by Ewan to make an alternative international site. That last came to naught.

Very much in my opinion the wiki site does not function well: the front page was huge, with large graphics, spam was getting out of hand too. A couple of years ago I’d spent some time deleting spam comment, and suggested a reduction in logo size on the front page. This didn’t have any impact and I am sure that many folk are quite happy with the wiki.

The new teachmeet.scot site was inspired when talking to Feargual, Susan and Athole last year.

They had set up tmscot.wordpress.com in an attempt to reboot TeachMeet and Scotland and make organising & publicising TeachMeets a little simpler in Scotland. I was interesting in making something a little bit more usable than the pbwiki site.

TeachMeet.scot is the result. It was ‘soft’ launched last year and has been used to organise a few TeachMeets.

It is a work in progress, the aim to be a simple, easy to navigate site. It is open to anyone to use. Currently you can add a TeachMeet in a couple of ways: you can fill in a form and someone will add it for you or you can request an account and add as many as you like. How you organise a meet is up to you, you could use a contact form on the post, an embedded google form, link to eventbright or whatever you like to get folk to sign up1.

It could be used instead of or as well as the TeachMeet Wiki site. We are hoping it will be useful rather than exclusive. There is no axes being ground, no profits being made. I organise the hosting and own the domain, but I consider it held in trust for TeachMeet rather than owned.

If you are organising a TeachMeet in Scotland please have a look and consider using the site. There are plenty of folk who will help you get started if you need a hand. How to use this site – TeachMeet.scot

1. Longer term it is hope to have a booking system built into the sire as another alternative.

    #PedagooMuckle Tech Tools – Record and Share your event online⤴

    from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

    These are some note from/for the Pedagoo Muckle event. I’ll update this with a few more details over the next few days.

    Supported by SCEL and with a slightly different format, #PedagooMuckle aims to support, challenge and encourage participants to go forth and organise their own Pedagoo events, TeachMeets and other collaborative, sharing opportunities for educators.

    I was asked to talk about how to broadcast and share your event. I am very much an enthusiastic amateur in this field. This is a quick romp through some of the available tools from a quick and dirty point of view.

    The premise is that these events are worth sharing and folk can get value from attending virtually or catching up later.

    Distributed in Space & Time, live or archive

    Is is possible to either record for posterity, broadcast live or both.

    Both give different affordances, recording shares across space and time, live broadcast may allow distant listeners to participate via twitter.

    Short snippets may provide more value than recording whole events. Instead of recording a whole presentation or workshop 3-5 minutes with the presenter can be useful, or record a conversation between two or more presenters or attendees.

    Before you start

    What have you got in the way of equipment and more importantly space? How much effort will it be for what sort of size of audience? What you equipment will the results be watchable or audible?

    Who is going to do the broadcast. Have they any other jobs.

    Audio vs Video

    Personally I prefer audio, less to go wrong or get right. Audio can also be listened to while the audience are washing the dishes or driving.

    Don’t forget text might be better, can be easier to give multiple viewpoints. Twitter is the easiest currently for live text.

    Some Tools

    These are towards the quick and dirty end of spectrum.

    Sound is the most important ###

     

    Mic types (Mostly I am just glad to have a mic)

    • omnidirectional pattern – all directions are equally sensitive to sound.
    • figure-8 pattern – the front and back are sensitive, while the sides are ignored.
    • cardioid pattern – meaning the area in front of the mic is most sensitive, the sides are less sensitive, and the rear is ignored.

    Video Recording

    Smart Phone/ video camera for watching later. Simple. Audio is important so consider adding a mic to the camera or your phone.

    Use a stand.

    Try to test the light, field of view and sound before the event starts.

    Live Video

    YouTube, the set up has recently changes, see When it’s Your Googopoly Game, You Can Flip the Board in the Air Anytime for details.

    TL:DR Youtube streaming has got a little more complex. Best to go for the simplest options:

    Go to YouTube and log in

    1. On your profile icon at the top left click on your icon
    2. Choose Creator Studio
    3. Click Live Streaming on the left had nav
    4. Ignore all the choices and click events below the Live Streaming option
    5. Schedule a new event
    6. Create a new event and Go Live Now (avoid Advance Settings)
    7. The Hangout will open, use the link button to copy the link and send it out on twitter.

    Or schedule an event and share the link to the watch page ahead of time.

    Periscope iOS and android app, integrated with twitter. Works really well. Can save to camera roll.

    Ustream apps for live streaming with chat.

    Audio Recording

    All smart phones have some sort of recorder built in. This will work fine for archiving. Get the phone as near to the speaker as possible if you do not have an external mic.

    There are a host of better audio recorders, you can borrow some from Edutalk, including a Zoom H4n which is a nice piece of kit.

    Audacity or GarageBand, again an external mic is a good idea.

    AudioBoom is very useful for recording and sharing short pieces of audio, conversations etc. Add the hashtag #edutalk to auto post to http://edutalk.cc

    #EDUtalk

    Audio Streaming

    Edutalk, we use a icecast server and are happy to share the account. There are apps to stream to icecast servers on all platforms. A bit more of a learning curve but we are happy to share.

    Mixlr – Broadcast Live Audio

    Archiving Recordings

    You want it to be as easy as possible for as many people as possible to view or listen to the recordings.

    Edit or Not?

    The Levelator® from The Conversations Network

    Storify

    Other Things

    Bonus sign up forms’ e.g. google forms eventbrite etc?

    http://activitywalls.com or other tweet displays if you have a second monitor

    Not Just Confidence. But Integrity. A ‘sort of’ Review of ‘The Confident Teacher’ by Alex Quigley⤴

    from @ Just Trying to be Better Than Yesterday

    confidentThere’s a long walk up from York City Centre to Huntington School but it’s a beautiful day, unexpectedly beautiful, and I’m soaking in it. My first visit to the city and, after a nervous, sleep-interrupted night in a TravelLodge, Research-Ed is getting ever closer. I’m listening to Teenage Fan Club. I recall it clearly; Songs From Northern Britain; a nod to my three hour trip from Glasgow the night before; the real Northern Britain. To the jangly guitar twang of ‘Ain’t That Enough’ the humble and ordinary looking Huntington School appears to my right. Yet despite that ordinariness, a welcoming aura surrounds the place.

    That welcome feeling defines the school. Throughout the day, the words ‘honourable’, ‘humble’ , integrity’, pepper my notebook. Personified in their remarkable head teacher, John Tomsett, and the one speaker I really want to hear, Alex Quigley, Huntington School in May 2014 is everything you expect it to be. Pupils, in on a Saturday, justly proud of their school, go out of their way to assist. I get my talk out of the way – a poetry-based analysis of Scotland’s curricular development. Yeah, I know, right- and wallow in the atmosphere. If I had ever wondered about the kind of school I’d like to be a part of then on that day I found it.

    Two years on, and both John and Alex have become successful authors. There’s a lot of them about in Education. The Twitter world has spawned a multitude of new voices. These two rise above them all. The humanity and integrity I witnessed two years ago shine on every page of John’s book – I blogged about it here – but Alex’s new book, The Confident Teacher, is a different thing altogether.  I loved his first book, Teach Now. Becoming a Great English Teacher. However, the new one achieves something of which most other Education books find themselves falling short.

    Like the echo chamber of social media, very few teachers I know bother to read Edubooks. They don’t have the time. There’s a feeling that reading about new approaches and techniques is just another burden on top of the mountain of work we have to complete already. I can teach well. Why should I read your book? Alex’s book does something quite remarkable. I read a lot of these things and, perhaps for the first time, I think ‘The Confident Teacher’ speaks to teachers as equals. It understands the real issues we experience and never patronises. It is practical, positive, hopeful. It is a book written with integrity, humility and a deep, deep passion for teaching. It has knocked me sideways.

    Leaving York that night on the evening train back to Northern Britain, I reflected on what I’d experienced that day. I remember little of the sessions apart from my own, the day was too much of blur for that. But I took away an image of the kind of experience I’d hope my school provided. I love my school and hope we display the characteristics of Huntington, at least on some days.

    This might not be a book review as such, but I’d recommend Alex’s book to any teacher looking for some practical advice on how to improve our day. Reading it took me back a couple of years; to a school that operated on confidence, with confident staff and pupils. Read it now.


    TeachMeet Connect #teachmeet evolution⤴

    from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

    evolution

    TeachMeet Connect

    This move from Susan Ward looks like continuing the re-boot of TeachMeet in Scotland.

    On Wednesday 21st September, we are launching TeachMeet Connect, a series of TeachMeets happening across Scotland on the same day, where teachers will get together and share what they do. Coinciding with the Scottish Learning Festival, this will be a celebration of all the good things happening in classrooms across Scotland and a chance to explore how TeachMeets can support professional development.

    Whether you’ve been to loads of TeachMeets before or this will be your first, this is your chance to get connected to other teachers in Scotland who want to share too. We’d love you to get involved and hold a TeachMeet Connect of your own. There’s loads of info here about how to set up and run a TeachMeet and it’s entirely up to you how fancy you go- you could promote your event and have people sign up to come along and share, or you could just arrange a coffee with half a dozen colleagues where everyone talks about something that’s worked for them.

    from: TeachMeet Connect – TeachMeet Scotland

    On the TeachMeet front it was good to read David, for a bit of nostalgia: EdCompBlog: TeachMeet – What’s in a name?, I got the name wrong the first time round, but I don’t think I am wrong in thinking that this new blossoming of TeachMeet in Scotland is going to be great.

    The featured image a the top of this post Great Gallery of Evolution a public domain photo from Joe deSousa on flickr.

    Ten years on from the very first unconference for educators: TeachMeet is 10⤴

    from @ Ewan McIntosh | Digital Media & Education

    152573250_3e59bbabb1_o

    This Tuesday, I want you to join me in the pub. It’s your homework. There will be a test.

    My old tutor from teacher training college, David Muir, giggles as he types up some gems being shared over a beer between two other men: John Johnston, a primary teacher from Glasgow, and Will Richardson, an international keynoter whose formal talk earlier in the day had left us asking what they did in New Jersey that was, actually, any different from what we did in Scotland. Bob Hill from Dundee and Andrew Brown, a local authority (or school district) geek-in-residence listen in, priming the anecdotes they’ll respond with shortly. Behind me, at a different table, are a few others, snuggled around a table listening to the gems coming from an old uni pal who’s just started teaching, Grant Fraser.

    152573117_26c660774b_oIt doesn’t seem like much, but this informal gathering, arranged in fewer than 24 hours, was the first unconference for teachers, anywhere in the world. As we organised it through IRC, for lack of a Twitter quorate, and blogs, we called it the ScotEduBlogger Meetup, but that very night we decided that this might be a tad limiting, given we talked about more than just blogs. We also realised that if we wanted any women to make it along, we’d have to break free from what was, at that time, the mostly blokeish pastime of blogging.

     

    TeachMeet was born. And it was a full four years ahead of its American cousin, EdCamp. The parents of TeachMeet were, from the start, against it becoming monied, sponsored or financially supported beyond what was necessary to make it work, commercialised in any way, or becoming too formal by requiring a board, or trustees, or organisers. The lack of politics with a small ‘p’ was refreshing for teachers who mostly inhabit a world full of it. The lack of cash? Well, we’re teachers. That’s considered normal. I don’t know what I’d do with$2m, but I doubt it’d help make TeachMeet any more popular than it is today. Over the past ten years, it’s been a challenge to maintain that attitude in the heads of everyone who’s involved, but it’s managed to remain a very different beast to its EdCamp cousin as a result. It’s a difference I love.

     

    152573185_cb555f5e8f_o
    More than just a random bunch of teachers heading out for a midweek pint, this was planned, intentionally, to be the antidote to the Edinburgh City Technologies Conference, which had left us all a bit deflated. In our classrooms, we were doing more interesting stuff, frankly, than that talked about by the experts and commercial outfits vying for business back at the conference centre.

    I remember a discussion on IRC, about whether we should even invite Will along, given he was the keynote speaker that day, and somewhat occupying the podium that we were wanting to rebuke. A few of us knew Will well enough, though, through his blog posts, and thought he’d get into the ‘real’ goodies over a pint, more readily than in front of a few hundred folk in a beige convention centre.

    The evening also had an unwritten rulebook, formed through the conventions of this rather twee little pub on Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile:
    1. Don’t speak over someone who’s speaking;
    2. Don’t hog the conversation, or someone will speak over you;
    3. If you need to leave to get a pint, leave;
    4. Don’t get too many laptops out: if you can tell your story without one, just do it. We’re in an Edinburgh drinkers’ pub, after all;
    5. If you do need to show something, for goodness’ sake, don’t do a PowerPoint (see Point 4, above).

    The most unwritten of all the ‘rules’ is maybe that of the Master of Ceremonies. In the pub setting, there’s always an MC. Sometimes they’re a total pain the neck. The loud chap in the corner, probably in a double-breasted suit, prophesying at his loudest and brashest to anyone who’ll listen, berating those who speak during his wife’s karaoke attempts, or who disagree with his political persuasion.

    The more successful MC is almost invisible through their prowess. Any good pub has one. Sat, not stood, in a central position of the bar. He keeps an eye on the action, and subtly moves the pieces around like a chess master. A small utterance now and then turns potential discord between patrons into uniting harmony. His own stories normally get saved to last, until the after-hours lock-in, where a few lucky souls will get the résumé of the evening that no-one else was able to see.

    From that night, we’ve written down most the rules, sighed when we’ve seen them forgotten. We’ve run some bigger TeachMeets, snagged some amazing venues, spent a lot of businesses’ cash on free beer and pizza. We’ve seen other countries adopt TeachMeet as their own, a few claim credit for starting it. We’ve seen TeachMeets sizzle when they offer something different for the teachers who come, and we’ve seen them stumble, stutter and stoater out as hosts forget how to really make those segues shine the spotlight on the teacher (and not the MC). We’ve kept the chaotic wiki where people organise, sign up and talk about their events. It’s got the look, feel and usability of your aged granny’s family anecdotes, but it’s for that reason that we keep it and love it (it is down as I try to link to it…).

    This Tuesday, 10 years on to the night it all started, I’m going back to the Jolly Judge Pub in Edinburgh. I’d love you to join me if you can. In an age of Facebook Live, Twitter, Medium and Instagram, maybe you’re expecting to join in virtually. The point is, I’m going to be in an Edinburgh pub. What do you think I’m going to do?

    152993204_83cd86e0cf_o

    Ten years on from the very first unconference for educators: TeachMeet is 10⤴

    from @ Ewan McIntosh | Digital Media & Education

    152573250_3e59bbabb1_o

    This Tuesday, I want you to join me in the pub. It’s your homework. There will be a test.

    My old tutor from teacher training college, David Muir, giggles as he types up some gems being shared over a beer between two other men: John Johnston, a primary teacher from Glasgow, and Will Richardson, an international keynoter whose formal talk earlier in the day had left us asking what they did in New Jersey that was, actually, any different from what we did in Scotland. Bob Hill from Dundee and Andrew Brown, a local authority (or school district) geek-in-residence listen in, priming the anecdotes they’ll respond with shortly. Behind me, at a different table, are a few others, snuggled around a table listening to the gems coming from an old uni pal who’s just started teaching, Grant Fraser.

    152573117_26c660774b_oIt doesn’t seem like much, but this informal gathering, arranged in fewer than 24 hours, was the first unconference for teachers, anywhere in the world. As we organised it through IRC, for lack of a Twitter quorate, and blogs, we called it the ScotEduBlogger Meetup, but that very night we decided that this might be a tad limiting, given we talked about more than just blogs. We also realised that if we wanted any women to make it along, we’d have to break free from what was, at that time, the mostly blokeish pastime of blogging.

     

    TeachMeet was born. And it was a full four years ahead of its American cousin, EdCamp. The parents of TeachMeet were, from the start, against it becoming monied, sponsored or financially supported beyond what was necessary to make it work, commercialised in any way, or becoming too formal by requiring a board, or trustees, or organisers. The lack of politics with a small ‘p’ was refreshing for teachers who mostly inhabit a world full of it. The lack of cash? Well, we’re teachers. That’s considered normal. I don’t know what I’d do with$2m, but I doubt it’d help make TeachMeet any more popular than it is today. Over the past ten years, it’s been a challenge to maintain that attitude in the heads of everyone who’s involved, but it’s managed to remain a very different beast to its EdCamp cousin as a result. It’s a difference I love.

     

    152573185_cb555f5e8f_o
    More than just a random bunch of teachers heading out for a midweek pint, this was planned, intentionally, to be the antidote to the Edinburgh City Technologies Conference, which had left us all a bit deflated. In our classrooms, we were doing more interesting stuff, frankly, than that talked about by the experts and commercial outfits vying for business back at the conference centre.

    I remember a discussion on IRC, about whether we should even invite Will along, given he was the keynote speaker that day, and somewhat occupying the podium that we were wanting to rebuke. A few of us knew Will well enough, though, through his blog posts, and thought he’d get into the ‘real’ goodies over a pint, more readily than in front of a few hundred folk in a beige convention centre.

    The evening also had an unwritten rulebook, formed through the conventions of this rather twee little pub on Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile:
    1. Don’t speak over someone who’s speaking;
    2. Don’t hog the conversation, or someone will speak over you;
    3. If you need to leave to get a pint, leave;
    4. Don’t get too many laptops out: if you can tell your story without one, just do it. We’re in an Edinburgh drinkers’ pub, after all;
    5. If you do need to show something, for goodness’ sake, don’t do a PowerPoint (see Point 4, above).

    The most unwritten of all the ‘rules’ is maybe that of the Master of Ceremonies. In the pub setting, there’s always an MC. Sometimes they’re a total pain the neck. The loud chap in the corner, probably in a double-breasted suit, prophesying at his loudest and brashest to anyone who’ll listen, berating those who speak during his wife’s karaoke attempts, or who disagree with his political persuasion.

    The more successful MC is almost invisible through their prowess. Any good pub has one. Sat, not stood, in a central position of the bar. He keeps an eye on the action, and subtly moves the pieces around like a chess master. A small utterance now and then turns potential discord between patrons into uniting harmony. His own stories normally get saved to last, until the after-hours lock-in, where a few lucky souls will get the résumé of the evening that no-one else was able to see.

    From that night, we’ve written down most the rules, sighed when we’ve seen them forgotten. We’ve run some bigger TeachMeets, snagged some amazing venues, spent a lot of businesses’ cash on free beer and pizza. We’ve seen other countries adopt TeachMeet as their own, a few claim credit for starting it. We’ve seen TeachMeets sizzle when they offer something different for the teachers who come, and we’ve seen them stumble, stutter and stoater out as hosts forget how to really make those segues shine the spotlight on the teacher (and not the MC). We’ve kept the chaotic wiki where people organise, sign up and talk about their events. It’s got the look, feel and usability of your aged granny’s family anecdotes, but it’s for that reason that we keep it and love it (it is down as I try to link to it…).

    This Tuesday, 10 years on to the night it all started, I’m going back to the Jolly Judge Pub in Edinburgh. I’d love you to join me if you can. In an age of Facebook Live, Twitter, Medium and Instagram, maybe you’re expecting to join in virtually. The point is, I’m going to be in an Edinburgh pub. What do you think I’m going to do?

    152993204_83cd86e0cf_o

    #TMGlasgow a Delight⤴

    from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

    tmglasgow

    Last night I went along to TeachMeet Glasgow.

    As Athole wrote:

    Why unplugged? We want everyone to be prepared with something to share. And not to worry too much about the tech and their PPT slides.

    from: TeachMeet Glasgow (unplugged) – TeachMeet Scotland

    He referenced the original ScotEduBloggers meetup (the grandparent of TeachMeet) as a indication of casualness and said:

    However, clearly with a better balance of men, women and youth!

    More about the idea behind on Athole’s post: TeachMeet Glasgow (unplugged) in six steps which I’ve read a few time now and enjoyed each read:

    We may be talking about ‘the tech’ but can we challenge ourselves not to hide in front of our PPT slides, tablets and media? The face to face interaction bit is crucial.

    Also, we need more people to take up the mantle of organising informal teacher events, whether they be TeachMeets, Pedagoos or something else. These can be in pubs, coffee shops, schools or someone’s living room. I’m not sure the example of large chat show style events with TV production values are really within everyone’s grasp.

    But that’s just my opinion. There really are no rules.

    As Radio Edutalk was busy I borrowed the #DS106 Radio airwaves to broadcast live. Seemed to get a few listeners. I’ve not tried to do anything with the audio as the piano and bar buzz was quite loud.

    I made a quick #tmglasgow (with images, tweets) Storify that doesn’t give a complete picture (I removed the swimsuit girls that hopped onto the hashtag).

    As was pointed out at the meet, I am old enough to have been at the first TM (grey headed even then). I’ve disliked some of the directions that TM has gone, this one felt that it was on a great path. There was a quite a few folk I’ve met at TMs over the years but there were many I had not. A lot of these ‘newcommers’ brought a buzz of younger energy in the room. Athole managed not only to unplug TM but to give it a bit of a reboot too.

    The Featured image on this post is a montage of some of the photos tweeted during the event. Since twitter does not support licenses I am assuming I can use them. I’ve credited each to the account that posted it…