#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, teachmeetuk.wordpress.com.

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 http://wp.me/p4b8Ht-1e

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 http://wp.me/p4b8Ht-2j and the About TeachMeetUK section on our blog https://teachmeetuk.wordpress.com/about/

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 wp.me/p4b8Ht-2M

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 j.mp/tmukfeedback) so that we can consider what might be most useful moving forward.

Gill Bradnam @PrepSchHead


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