My First Teachmeet at Bett – Back in the Day

Joe Dale and Ewan Mcintosh at Bett 2008

Joe Dale and Ewan Mcintosh at Bett 2008

It was about five years ago that I had my first Teachmeet, you never forget your first time. You sit nervously at a table feeling a bit out-of-place and wondering what to expect.

You have been used to training days where breaks are strictly timetabled and speakers go on a bit. So all this informality and abnormally interesting CPD Is a bit weird, even if its s peppered with the odd lame duck of a talk, but hey that is Teachmeet. I went with my good friend and colleague Nicholas Hughes, he a gaming geek and ICT AST, me an ICT Consultant. After trudging around BETT all day, eating overpriced sandwiches, sweating through our Doctor Who T Shirts and looking for the next new thing we were glad of somewhere to sit and unwind.

The evening was compared by Ewan Macintosh, who I now understood was part of Teachmeet when it was just a few drinks and sharing teaching anecdotes in a pub, rather than the brand it is now. I don’t remember everything that was said or many of the speakers, but I do remember that there was a real buzz in the room . Here was gathered a group of teachers, advisers and some commercial guys who wanted to talk about education and ICT. it was greatly encouraging and affirming and the passion from the speakers showed that this stuff mattered. One such speaker was Derek Robertson, he spoke about Games Based Learning, before many of us had heard about it. I turned to Nicholas and said we need this in our borough, even though most of my gaming had been on my spectrum and I thought that a Gameboy was cutting edge.

We went back to Redbridge and managed to get ourselves a set of Nintendo DS consoles, someone called Dawn Hallybone bid successfully to use them and the rest is history.


Teachmeet North East London Volume 1 in Partnership with Nicholas Hughes and Dave Smith

From that one Teachmeet so many doors opened up for me. I met many great people who I now count as friends, albeit most of them I only ever speak to on Twitter. I also invited Ewan to Redbridge to host our own Teachmeet and have since been involved in 3-4 subsequent Teachmeets in East London. I am sure the spirit and enthusiasm of others I met at this and further Teachmeets has stayed with me and spurred me on to experiment with new tech or encourage others to do so.

My brilliant but modest and often overlooked technical genius of a colleague Nicholas Hughes and Robosapiens Teachmeet  08

My brilliant but modest and often overlooked technical genius of a colleague Nicholas Hughes and Robosapiens Teachmeet 08

So do I write this to brag and self promote? – no not at all . I wanted to just get down on a blog post what Teachmeet means to me and why I think you should do your best to try to attend one. I am hoping that the one at Bett this year will be great and inspirational. The networking is always fantastic, and it is brilliant to meet people who you may have only tweeted to and put faces to avatars. But, I hope the content of the speakers will inspire us too and for that to happen you need to be brave and step up and share the thing you did in your class, which may not seem cutting edge to you but could inspire or affirm someone else.

And of course in my experience you need to be at Teachmeet as you never know where it might take you.


By skinnyboyevans Posted in Event

6 comments on “My First Teachmeet at Bett – Back in the Day

  1. My first Teachmeet was yours in 2008 and I remember Robo sapiens as shown. The atmosphere was supportive and I went away with frantically scribbled notes and ideas to try out and share with interested colleagues.
    Then a big gap until 2012, the year that Teachmeets became one of the drums I banged on about in school. Attended 5 and had presentations used at a sixth and oh, helped organise one as well. Spoke at every single one and have gained so many more contacts that have been followed on throughTwitter and other networking.
    If BETT2013 Teachmeet is not possible – look out for local events, in Essex there is a growing interest as several Headteachers become. Involved. Here’s to a busy2013 and lots of meeting and sharing.

  2. I agree! I went to my first TeachMeet this year in Hampshire, run by Ian Addison and Charlie. I can’t understand why every teacher wouldn’t go to any organised in their local areas. I’m REALLY hoping to go to TeachMeet Bett, even though it’ll take a lot of ‘family organisation’ but who wouldn’t want to surround themselves with inspirational and enthusiastic educators? Much more exciting and inspiring than any INSET days I’ve been to.

  3. So true about your first Teachmeet-sitting quietly and in awe! My first was TMClevedon this October and I felt inspired, revitalised and most importantly wanted to share the experience. Am coming to BETT this year for first time and hoping to get to the Teachmeet. Hopefully see you there.

  4. Really pleased the material I was speaking about back then seems to have inspired you. It is great to share and to help make change in schools so that outcomes are better for learners.
    BTW, think I still have the shirt 😉

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