The first thing that impresses you about Devonshire Road Primary is that it’s a brand-new building shaped rather like beehive! It is a fantastic building with great facilities some of which were evident as we entered their hall and saw the huge screen that wouldn’t have looked out of place in an IMAX cinema! The hall isn’t used for lunches – it is given over to clubs and activities at lunchtimes with dinners being served in the ‘street’, a wide corridor that runs alongside the hall.
This was the third teachmeet in Blackpool and again attendance levels were high, over 130 people there to lurk enthusiastically or to present for two or seven minutes. It is great to see the unconference format take off in such a positive way across the town and it is also great to see people travelling a fair few miles to join in the fun, to present, support and encourage as the teachmeet approach becomes an established part of the educational culture in Blackpool.
Many staff attending TMBpool3 were first timers so it is understandable that some of the presenters ran over their allotted times. The professional, polished presentations from the likes of @simonhaughton @deputymitchell @primarypete and @HGjohn and a virtual presentation from @ianaddison showed just what teachmeets are all about. Sharp, to the point presentations that quickly and succinctly get their message across, leaving you with ideas and innovations that you can readily follow up, try out, share and develop. Hopefully their experienced approaches will provide many of those attending with the desire to have a go themselves next time.
It’s great to see teachmeet develop the way it has across Blackpool. It is providing classroom based practitioners with a real platform to share their best practice and innovative approaches with colleagues. The sharing of good practice is key to developing as a profession and teachmeets provide a grass roots model of professional development – people who walk the talk. It is not a hierarchical model, it is based on a ‘floorboards up’ approach that sees those who stand in front of children on a day to day basis share what works and what excites them about teaching and learning. It is also great to see so many headteachers actively supporting this approach to sharing good practice beyond the class room and staff room, to develop a real collaborative approach, building a real, lateral network across the town. This is the great thing about teachmeets; they provide staff with the opportunity to not only be enthused and motivated about innovative and new ideas but sometimes just reassure themselves what they’re doing is the right thing and others are doing it too!
TMBpool3 was another success and I’m sure the event was a positive experience for everyone who attended. I’m also sure that based on tonight’s experiences many of these teachers will be back at Anchorsholme Primary on February 10 for TMBpool4. As always huge thanks goes to @mister_jim and @TomSale for their fantastic efforts in selflessly putting together a superb event.