Monday, 20 February 2012

Crestwood Teachmeet: trying to get accurate info re development of Teachmeets in Oz.

I enjoy teachmeets. I love meeting with people who share similar interests and conversing with them.
Since moving back to Sydney in 1998, I have been unaware of any free, informal professional development, similar to the the "hub" group meetings I attended in Adelaide over 15 years ago. I enjoyed these too-educators getting together to support each other and share resources-yes, a teachers meeting.  A teachmeet. Many organisations do the same. It is not an unfamiliar concept, I am sure we all agree.  I am sure many educators have Skyped, met together and shared resources in some format ever since teaching began. And of course, this is to be celebrated!  

I was asked at short notice to present at tonights Crestwood/Hills teachmeet.  As a major teachmeet is about to take place on 2nd March (click here for further detail), I thought it apt to share this with the group. Perhaps they could encourage other colleagues to attend?  Teachmeets are valuable for me therefore I hope to share when Teachmeets are on. An awareness of the calender and wiki could encourage others to present, attend again or host.  From feedback at previous teachmeets, some attendees mention that they feel overwhelmed with information or get lost when others reference twitter or share links via Twitter. So, with this in mind, I set out a quick overview of my understanding of a "Teachmeet ", its origins and list some links to resources I enjoy-like the International Teachmeet and studentmeet.  The sheet below is not an advertisement for teachmeet; it was for teachers not on Twitter to take away. Something tangible to leave with and perhaps share with other colleagues.  I understand educators have been "meeting" to share ideas for many moons. However, the "teachmeet" phrase/concept has truly been embraced by many. I am more than happy to learn aboutother "educator meetings" that have occurred in Australia. Interesting for me. I am curious. I like to learn. 

 Does anyone know of any consistent and organised free meetings of educators in Australia prior to 2011- across all sectors, all year levels, open to all, quick presentations, simple sharing and discussion of what works in the classroom and what doesn't?  Would be interesting to crowd source the development of teachmeets in Australia.  I will change the information sheet below accordingly.

I love how teachmeets are open to all and I love meeting with other passionate educators. I hope I am always open to improving and keeping the students optimum learning experiences at the forefront of my pedagogy. If  "meeting teachers" "teachmeets" "teacheats" "unconferences" or Twitter support me in this, then I feel I can continue to develop as a person and educator. 

Thanks #teachmeethills Crestwood for hosting tonight meeting of minds :)

Hills Teachmeet: Info sheet for those not on Twitter

This is a sample email sent out to staff if you would like to use, feel free.

Dear staff,

Have you ever attended a FREE Teachmeet?  Teachmeets are professional development sessions FOR teachers run BY teachers. They are informal, relevant, inspiring and a great place to swap ideas, resources and expand your professional learning network beyond your school. Presentations are short and sweet- 2mins or 7mins. There are opportunities to chat to other educators and network. Often a teacheat is held at a local cafe or restaurant after the free PD. A teachmeet was held at Oakhill College last October.

There are two exciting Teachmeets this term.  A local one was held at Crestwood High school on 20th February. Click on the link below to see more details. 30-70 people attend local teachmeets. 
If you are after a LOCAL teachmeet there is another one at Kellyville High on 8th May.

Term 1 2012

DateEventHost SchoolHost contact
Monday 20th FebruaryTeachMeet HillsCrestwood High School, Baulkham HillsMelinda Bright
Friday 2nd MarchTEACHMEET SYDNEY WRAustralian Technology Park, EveleighSimon Crook, all TM organisers.
Tuesday 13th MarchTeachMeet West/MountainsSt Paul's Grammar School, PenrithFiona Boughey
March 10, 11ICTENSW WorkshopsSydney UniSteve Madsen
Wednesday 21st MarchTeachMeet NorthSt Augustine's College SydneyLiz Armenio & Andrew Allmark, SAGS
Tuesday April 3rdTeachMeet EastKambalaJessica Raeside/Sunny South

A world breaking record attempt (to raise awareness of teachmeets) is being held at Eveleigh on 2nd March at the Australian Technology Park. MANY educators from schools across ALL sectors will be attending. (Over 200 people so far!)  If you are interested you can visit the website for more info. An idea might be to share a lift together with a friend or three and go out for a meal in the city after :) This also assists with parking.    (Click here to see further details. Register details also here.)

A PLN (professional learning network) not only offers great ideas and resources but a supportive network that assists YOU in continual professional development. 

Drop me an email or stop for a chat if you have any queries. Hope to see you there!

Kind regards
Jeannette James on behalf of the #teachmeet team
ps Tom Barrett and Ewan McIntosh from Scotland are also presenting (they are working with Parrramatta CEO and here from Scotland on Business.  Ewan got the teachmeet movement rolling in 2005)
pss Terrific chance to see what other schools are up to + meet colleagues that you have worked with in the past.


  1. Hi Jeanette

    We held the first 'CEO' TeachMeet on 25th May 2011 at CEO Sydney Southern Region office in Revesby. 50+ K-12 teachers turned up and it was excellent. Details about this event can be found at

    We got the idea a month earlier when Stephen Heppell visited then read more on Tom Barrett's blog about the format and advice.

    Since then we've held 4 more with great success. Importantly we've become very aware that DEC and Independent school teachers are also setting up TeachMeets and we are now endeavouring to make 'ours' non-sectorial, dropping the original #ceotm hashtag and encouraging ALL to attend and joining the greater Sydney TeachMeet community at large.

    It has been fantastic meeting, networking and learning from so many teachers K-12, tertiary, cross-curricula and cross-sectorial!

    See you all at Eveleigh!



    PS - its great to be involved but its not about the individuals mentioned in the history, its about all teachers who wish to give up their own time to share and network :)

  2. The TM Melbourne that I know began in September 2011 - following on from hearing Henrietta's presentation at Reform Symposium.
    I don't know what happened before that, it may have existed before in another life.
    As you said, I love the cross-sector, cross-level aspect - we had primary/secondary/tertiary/independent/state/catholic represented. The best thing is that it is full of people who WANT to be there - optional professional development by teachers for teachers.

  3. Thanks Simon and Celia. Agreed, the beauty of teachmeets are they inclusive, encouraging and supported by those that want to be there- an awesome learning environment!