Feedback from National TeachMeet Day 2014

5 comments from the feedback received so far:

  • It was great to feel involved in something across the UK.
  • Amazing altruism from the TM organisers in preparation for Thursday & it was marvellous. Eternally grateful!
  • Think it was a great event and inspired new teachmeets to happen. How about a national theme too!
  • I am a SCITT student teacher and came away from it full of new ideas that I can experiment with and take with me into my first teaching post
  • To be able to talk to colleagues from different schools is not only reassuring it is a great opportunity to see a different view-point from my own.

Please give you feedback by clicking here – feedback it is very quick to fill in and we really would appreciate you feedback, including whether the event should be on just one day next year or flexibility for organisers to select a day within a week or within a set month. Many thanks.


#TMUK – The Journey

How it started.  It started with a conversation about TeachMeets between a group on Twitter one day in mid-December (primarily @mrlockyer @PrepSchHead @ICTmagic @MrsPTeach @SwayGrantham @ICTEvangelist and @paulyb37).  Stephen Lockyer contributed a classic ‘what about’ question –  ‘There are quite a number of TeachMeets on 6 February, what about a National TeachMeet Day?’ This was greeted with great enthusiasm from all and the rest is now history!

The initiative moved at a phenomenal pace. Opening tweets of ‘Let’s make this happen!’ were replaced within 24 hours with ‘It’s happening!’ #teamwork! It was phenomenal the speed at which this initiative was embraced by so many people. Within a day or two of National TeachMeet Day 6 February 2014 being launched we had people keen to organise and host venues right across the UK.

Martin Burrett @ICTmagic very quickly came up with the fabulous #TMUK logo.

Within hours it became apparent from the volume of tweets into my twitter account that we would need a #TMUK dedicated twitter feed, plus a blog to share information, so these were then set up.

The timeline was very tight indeed especially given Christmas and the New Year holidays etc. The various aspects building up to the National TeachMeet Day needed very careful planning if everything was to be in place in time for the event to be successful.

Our aims.  There were two things central to what we were doing.  Firstly to promote TeachMeets – their positive value to all in education (CPD and networking opportunities) and to help more people become aware of them and join in.  Secondly, the very practical angle was that the TeachMeets on National Day 6 February would enable the sharing of ideas and best practice relating to teaching and learning and links to presentations and resources could then be posted on the TeachMeetUK blog,

Sponsors.  We are very grateful to the national sponsors for their support and the range of prizes they provided, which were much appreciated by all!  A good number of schools now have new resources/services to aid teaching and learning and a significant number of practitioners, across all sectors of education, have become aware of products, resources and services that they may not have known about before. A huge thank you to: @twinklresources @zondle @CrownHousePub @edgymusicals @OneDayCreative  and @YesProgramme  For more information about the sponsors please view

One thing that we have been very clear about.  We have been clear that TeachMeetUK did not come up with TeachMeets, they are ‘an underground, unconference movement’ dating back to 2006.  Nor do we host the TeachMeet Wiki.  Rather, true to the underground/unconference movement, we ‘popped up’ with no agenda other than to be a central hub for a national day.  From a central core of 4 @ICTmagic (who has given significant input into IT related matters and promoting the National Day and individual events), @mrlockyer (the idea generator and initial link to key sponsors), @MrsPTeach (who has contributed helpful support on-going and the blog post ‘Why TeachMeet’) and @PrepSchHead (communications and administration), as people have come on board with the National Day, organising an event in their local area, they have become part of the growing TeachMeetUK Team, because we are all about ‘team’ and ‘team work’, not egos or individuals.  See and the About TeachMeetUK section on our blog

On 6 February 2014 an amazing 18 TeachMeets happened across the UK, with a further 3 TeachMeets on other days supporting the National Day!  The tweets relating to the National Day can be accessible via the hashtag #TMUK and the hashtags used by the individual TeachMeets Bexley #TMBexley Blackpool #tmbpool Bristol #TMBristol Cambridge #TMCambridge Dinnington, Rotherham #TMDinninton Hampshire -#tmhants  Hertfordshire – #tmherts Isle of Man #tmiom Midlands – #TMMidlands Norfolk #tmase Northumberland #clvartstm  Peterborough #tmpboro Sheffield – #TMSheffield Southampton x 2 – #TMSoton #tmwave2 Sussex – #TMSussex West Norfolk – #WNTM Wiltshire –  #tmwilts  Supporting TeachMeets on other days – Glasgow #TMGlasgowEAL  Solihull #TMSolihull  Havering #TMHavering

Nearly 50% of the #TMUK TeachMeets were organised by people running their first TeachMeet – well done to all!  Of those attending, e.g. at the TeachMeet I was at #TeachMeetHerts 2/3 of those there were attending their first TeachMeet. Both amazing statistics.

Attendance figures.  With the figures forwarded, over 1000 teachers, TAs and educationalists were involved in #TMUK!  That is a very significant number of individual people and school communities impacted.

Sharing.  We are currently adding to our blog links to presentations, resources and blog posts as people forward them to us

A massive UK wide thank you to everyone who contributed to #TMUK – the organisers of the events, the presenters at each event, the many attendees, the sponsors and the numerous supporters in the wings (on the ground and via Twitter)!  From your tweets, emails, blog posts and the number of TeachMeets and attendees, we believe that – together – through everyone’s contributions and input, #TMUK has been a very successful national event!  #Teamwork  A huge thank you to all!

Feedback and moving forward.  We are currently seeking feedback from everyone who organised and/or attended a #TMUK event (via so that we can consider what might be most useful moving forward.

Gill Bradnam @PrepSchHead

#TMUK links to blogs and resources – presentations, videos etc

Links will be added following National TeachMeet Day 2014 – Thursday 6 February.  Please post any link/s that you wish to share in the comments section below, many thanks. Gill

@ICTmagic A Brief history of teachmeets

@paulyb37  Inspiring books for teachers and leaders to read

@lancslassrach  An inaugural teach meet

@ICTmagicResources to bring the outside, inside (the classroom)

@mberry – The new primary IT curriculum

@MarcWithersey – A microblog of TeachMeet Midlands

@PeteBevington – TM Midlands, what was it all about?

@Graham_IRISC  – TeachMeet UK 6 Practical Classroom Ideas

@ThisIsLiamM  –  Windows for displays

@ShrekTheTeacher – The Counting Wheel

@Mrlockyer  – Promoting reading

@collaborat_ed    Self organised learning environments 1  Self organised learning environments 2

@PeepingPearson – Barrier Games – to develop SLCN & BESD needs

@DevNicely – Learning timelines

@ms_jamdangory – TeachMeet West Norfolk – Part 1

@MrsPTeach – Enterprise Education

@michaelt1979 – Website and English suggestion

Rob@DJToadieDyslexia font

@gnc957 – Creativity Apps

@neiljones – Education for Social Responsibility

@PrepSchHead – A summary from #TMHerts

@IaninSheffield – Presentation and live binder of resources

Cath from #TMSussex – An idea to improve mathematics

@missmclachlan – Slides from #tmwave2

@TomSale – My blog post for the TM from Blackpool

Are all TeachMeets organised by the same group of people?

TeachMeets are unconferences and therefore one can pop up anywhere in the world, and be organised by anyone or a group of people, as and when anyone in education is inspired to set one up.

The WordPress blog, TeachMeetUK, and the Twitter account @TeachMeetUK are for National TeachMeet Day 6 February 2014 #TMUK – 18 events across the UK on that day and 3 other events where the organisers have specifically expressed support, with events on other days.  By viewing earlier posts on our blog and by viewing our profile ‘About TeachMeetUK’ you can read further information.  @TeachMeet UK is not a central Twitter account for all TeachMeets.

#TMBett held on 24 January for example and #TMUK on 6 February are separate events, with different organisers. However, given that the aim of National TeachMeet Day 6 February #TMUK is to promote TeachMeets, their value for all in education and to encourage more people to join in teachmeets, we are obviously very supportive of all TeachMeets and whenever possible if people put #TMUK in their tweet or ask @TeachMeetUK to retweet their event we do so.  Similarly if people ask if there is a TeachMeet in their area, if we are not aware of one near them on 6 February, we recommend them to view the TeachMeet Wiki where anyone can register their TeachMeet and links for tickets etc – this Wiki is not organised by @TeachMeetUK/#TMUK.

As National TeachMeet Day 6 February 2014 approaches there is still time to sign up to attend one of the events.  Please see the list of venues  and/or our map for links to further information and to book tickets.  Currently approximately 1000 people have registered to attend an event.

Stephen Lockyer @mrlockyer, Gill Bradnam @PrepSchHead, Martin Burrett @ICTmagic and Jo Payne @MrsPTeach

TeachMeets on other days that support National TeachMeet Day #TMUK

This section has been added at the request of a number of organisers of TeachMeet events  on days other than 6 February, who wished to share their support for National TeachMeet Day #TMUK

Glasgow 1 February #TMGlasgowEAL

G41 3TR …   @EALGlasgow

Solihull 5 February #TMSolihull B93 0PT   @lizsaddler @SarahLewsey_

Romford 11 February #TMHavering

RM1 4YY @TeachMeetHavering

Why TeachMeet?

After promoting a local TeachMeet in a teachers’ meeting, I overheard a thought-provoking comment in the staff room the next day. Whilst gazing at the TeachMeet poster I had put up, a teacher who was absent in the previous day’s meeting pondered, “Why would anyone want to do that – actually choose to spend some of their own time meeting with teachers?” So…Why TeachMeets? What are they and why do busy, practising teachers put so much time and energy into running these independent events?

Despite going to many TeachMeets in my 2 years of teaching, it’s something that I’d never even considered.  I guess the main reason for this is that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every TeachMeet I’ve ever been to – it’s never felt like a burden.  I’ve come away from each one with a tonne of ideas to use in my classroom, new friends who are in the profession and a full belly from a very decent pub meal. Nevertheless I understand that, to those less familiar with them, TeachMeets seem like a less-than-appealing pastime – I’m on a mission to persuade teachers that this isn’t the case at all!

TeachMeets are founded on ideas.  Teachers sharing their great ideas with other teachers.  Sometimes this can be jazzed up with sponsorship, prizes, keynotes and fancy food (cupcakes at TeachMeet Sussex!) but in principle, the sharing of ideas is universal. However, as an organiser of a TeachMeet in a new area, the most difficult job has been getting local people to share their ideas.  These mini presentations throughout the evening are the heart of the TeachMeet yet seemingly great practitioners, who have signed up for a teaching event in their own time, are shying away from telling people about what they do well.  Again and again I reiterate to people, via Twitter, the website and word of mouth, how simple this should be. The best presentations consist of people spending a few minutes telling other teachers about one simple idea, resource or strategy that has been effective in their classroom.  They rarely need a PowerPoint, A/V equipment or even a pre-prepared speech!

Having been gently bullied into presenting at the first TeachMeet I went to, I’ve made it a general rule-of-thumb that I will present at any TeachMeet I attend.  This isn’t because I like blowing my own trumpet or because I have exceptional ideas – TeachMeets don’t exist for either of those reasons.  My understanding is that everybody has something to give – so why not give a snippet of what I do in my classroom?  I benefit so much from what other people have to share and my aim, by presenting an idea, is that someone will go away inspired to try something new based on what I’ve said.  Teachers are professional people who can make educated decisions about whether a certain idea is worth trying in their classroom so the the ball is in their court as to what they get out of the event.

Sadly, there will always be a small amount of teachers who will shun this grass roots CPD.  However, for the rest of us, TeachMeets can be that link between work and life – an enjoyable, social event with great food and drink which can inspire and challenge us, reigniting that passion for teaching which prompted us to start out. The added bonus is that you can have a good time without feeling guilty about being “out on a school night”!

Jo Payne organises TeachMeet Sussex


Press release for National TeachMeet Day 6 February 2014 #TMUK

National TeachMeet Day 2014 is being held on Thursday 6 February.  It is a national celebration of TeachMeets – events that happen throughout the year, where teachers share good practice, practical innovations and personal insights in teaching and technology to support high quality learning in schools and other educational settings.

TeachMeets evolved from a “ScotEduBlogs Meetup” in Edinburgh in the summer of 2006, when the new name TeachMeet was created by Ewan McIntosh; the first event using this name was held in Glasgow on 20 September 2006. Over the last 7 years the number of events has continued to grow.

The national day was the idea of Stephen Lockyer, “I noticed that there were a number of TeachMeets planned for 6 February and it seemed a great opportunity to extend it to become a national day.  The response from teachers has been fantastic! We are aiming for a string of TeachMeets right across the UK. There are approximately 15 venues currently and this may increase!”

TeachMeetUk was set up as a central hub to share information regarding National TeachMeet Day.  True to the heart of TeachMeets, this is run by teachers and is non-profit making.

“In addition to the TeachMeet events across the UK teachers will be able to share links to related articles, resources and videos via the website on 6 February .“ ICT Technical Lead and logo designer Martin Burrett.

“I was really inspired at the first TeachMeet I attended. I came away with practical and creative ideas to use in the classroom and to share with colleagues.  It is arguably the best form of professional development available for all in education –  excellent input, the opportunity to network, refreshments are provided,  it is open to all and it is free!” Central Organiser Gill Bradnam.

The TeachMeetUK Team’s aim is that more people will become aware of TeachMeets and join in the National Day and future events . At a time when some question the level of professionalism of teachers,TeachMeets are one of the many examples of educational initiatives that demonstrate the commitment, passion, energy and professionalism of teachers throughout the UK.

Further details of TeachMeetUK via website and Twitter @TeachMeetUK #TMUK

With thanks to our national sponsors Twinkl Ltd, Crown House Publishing Ltd, One Day Creative Education, Yes Programme, plus those supporting 1 or more individual venues