It was a very hot, but inspiring afternoon and evening at Cleeve School yesterday where the final Teach Meet Gloucestershire (TM Glos) for this academic year was held. The turnout was good, with representatives from both the primary and secondary sectors, and some travelling as far afield as Bristol to attend. It was lovely to be able to put names to faces, such as Julia Skinner who steers the infamous weekly 100 word challenge (https://100wc.net/), and catch up with consultants whom I have worked alongside in the past, e.g. Sarah Taylor, or teachers who have participated in CPD sessions that I have run.
There were some fantastic presenters tonight, each having either a two or seven minute slot to share best practice or promote a resource, web-link or forthcoming event. Perhaps, the two speakers that had the most impact on me throughout the evening were Neil Morland, whose presentation was entitled ‘How do you unstick the stuck child?’, and Fiona Pryce, who spoke about ‘Putting the F factor into your teaching!’ (e.g. FUN!). Neil provided some great strategies to encourage resilience among pupils and celebrate the wonders of being stuck. He ended with a clear instruction; remember to keep cool by positioning yourself in front of the fan and resist the temptation to tear around the classroom and be at the beck and call of your students! Fiona’s comments resonated strongly with me from my time back in the classroom this past academic year. I continually felt challenged and somewhat compromised as the new GCSE geography specification was so content-heavy. If I was not having FUN teaching geography, a subject that I am very passionate about, then how could I ensure pupils were having FUN learning about the world in which they live?
My two minute presentation was aimed at promoting Gloucestershire’s Primary Humanities Subject Leaders’ Network, which I have recently established. I gave a brief resume of our intentions, previous meetings and an outline of what is in store for the start of the next academic year. Do come and join us if you can. The theme for our next meeting is ‘Humanities in the News‘ (topical items and contemporary issues, from the local to global scale). I hope to share ideas to ensure that future teaching and learning of humanities subjects is relevant, engaging and links with as many other areas of the curriculum as possible. It is intended to meet from 1.30 pm to 4.00 pm on Tuesday 25th September 2018 at TRAC – Tom Roberts Adventure Centre, Yates Farm, Malswick, near Newent, Gloucestershire, GL18 1HE (https://www.tracnewent.org.uk/). Despite this event not being held at a school and having a number of invited presenters in attendance (Wicked Weather Watch, Brick2Learn and Acting Up!), the cost per head will remain at £25.00, with refreshments provided on arrival and throughout the afternoon, thanks to sponsorship from TUI (https://www.tui.co.uk/). Please bring a Wi-Fi enabled laptop/tablet and USB stick with you, along with a copy of your annual whole school curriculum plan and current scheme of work/topic map. Be prepared to get stuck in too! To reserve a place, drop me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please apply no later than Tuesday 11th September 2018. I look forward to seeing some familiar faces, as well as a few new ones too; you will be made to feel most welcome, I assure you!
Well done, Jerome, for organising such an enjoyable and thought-provoking Teach Meet, with some great prizes and goodie bags up for grabs too (not the easiest of tasks!), and many thanks for allowing me to present.