Friday night’s alright for . . . burglin’? March 27, 2010Posted by IaninSheffield in CPD, Inspiration, Teaching Idea.
Tags: #TeachMeetYH2010, CPD, Inspiration, TMYH2010
At my rather advanced years, if I’m out on a Friday evening, it usually has to be preceded by a nap . . . a goodly nap! Otherwise by about 8.00, I’m starting to flag – at best, stifling an occasional yawn, or at worst waking up with my face semi-submerged in a plate of linguini. So to go straight from work to TeachMeet Yorkshire & Humberside 2010 and for me to be still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as the proceedings were brought to a close around 10.00, says an awful lot about the quality of the presenters and their messages. How often can you claim that your eyelids are managing to defy gravity at the end of a four hour professional development session . . . after a full day’s work?! The reason? Simple – the passion, commitment, enthusiasm and downright zeal and zest (always wanted to use those two words) of the participants, whether presenting, lurking or attending virtually.
I gave my first presentation proper last night; only a 2 minute nano – ePortfolios … by stealth. It was OK I think. I don’t count my attempt to lead a discussion at the TM East Midlands last year – I bombed! I hadn’t prepared adequately, not realising that I’d be centre stage leading the whole hall; I had expected us to be in smaller break-out groups. As a consequence, I didn’t really get an answer to the problem I’d posed which was how we get the message to the masses. Folks interpreted this as what we do to enthuse people about how powerful a tool ICT can be to support learning. What I’d actually meant (and failed to get across) was, how do we get more people involved with TeachMeets? Well I’ve thought long and hard since then, and attended a couple more TeachMeets . . . and the conclusion I’ve reached? It doesn’t matter! Sure it’s fantastic when people who wouldn’t normally attend this kind of event come along and are blown away, returning to work inspired to try something new. But no, for me it doesn’t have to be about that. It’s an event with people who inspire me . . . and each other I guess. And maybe that’s enough. Can’t speak for anyone else, but enthusing people about ICT is a tough battle – it’s just one more thing in their jam-packed working days. The normal environment is not one of universal, all-reaching, never-ending love for edtech. So for me a TeachMeet (and certainly last night’s) is about being with like-minded people who have a shared enthusiasm for how powerful ICT can be and how it can make a difference. It’s simply refreshing to spend some time bathing in a sea of positivity. As a presenter, it’s wonderful to be in front of an audience who are willing you to succeed and keen to hear your message (if you’ve been lurking, do please give presenting a try – rest assured everyone’s behind you).
D’you know what? At no point last night did I hear the words “And when am I possibly going to have the time to do this?” It was worth being there for that alone!
[Public and heartfelt thanks are due to Dughall McCormick and Damien Ward for organising last night’s event and additionally to Dughall for being such a passionate Master of Ceremonies, and Damien and colleagues at Doncaster South CLC for extending such warm hospitality.]