#TeachMeet Creativity and The TeachMeet Revolution

 

What is a TeachMeet?

 

For those of us not in the know, a TeachMeet is a grassroots “conference” which offers free, informal CPD organised by, and for, teachers and educationalists. Ideas are shared in the form of presentations and activities, and the events tend to be short and snappy, but all the while insightful and engaging.

 

Thanks to some handy research by McGill of Teacher Toolkit, we know that the TeachMeet began in Scotland in 2006 when Ewan McIntosh organised two meet-up events in Edinburgh and Glasgow to get forward-thinking teachers to come together and share their thoughts on what works (or doesn’t!) in their classroom.

 

Nowadays, TeachMeets pop up everywhere – from TeachMeet takeovers at BETT and The Education Show, to city-wide academy chains and rural village primary schools hosting after-school events – but despite this, the nature of the TeachMeet remains the same, to offer free CPD and idea-sharing opportunities for teachers.

 

At Artis, we’ve been lucky enough to be invited to a number of TeachMeets through our work with schools and organisations who have hosted an event. We’ve had fantastic opportunities to share our ideas on how to encourage creativity in the curriculum, and share our knowledge on what works for us – from how you can develop Growth Mindset through the arts, to practical methods of using movement and dance to teach numeracy. After attending so many amazing events across the country, we decided it was high time we organised our own.

 

#TeachMeet Creativity

 

Our first TeachMeet, #TeachMeet Creativity, was held in London at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon. We invited teachers from across London and the surrounding boroughs, to share experiences and best practice in delivering the curriculum in a creative way.

 

We wanted to pass on our tips and tricks for creativity in the classroom, but also learn from teachers and organisations about what works for them, so that together we can look at ways to develop from each other’s practises.

 

The jam-packed event was filled with workshops, talks, tea and biscuits, as well as a raffle and goodie bags – everything you need from a good TeachMeet! All the money raised from our raffle went to Magic Breakfast, a charity which provides healthy school breakfasts to hungry and malnourished children in disadvantaged areas of the UK.

 

We were also lucky enough to have the fantastic illustrator, Sally Kindberg, creating brilliantly funny visual minutes of the event.

 

The first CPD workshop of the evening was from our very own Artis Specialist, Wendy Steatham (Whirl), who showed us how we could use movement and dance in the classroom to physicalise numeracy. By embodying sums and creating shapes with our bodies, Wendy had the whole room performing a mathematics dance routine in minutes.

 

Alex Kais, Specialist Arts Teacher at Monteagle Primary School in Dagenham, gave us a fantastic talk on how their school put creativity at the forefront of its school values, to terrific results! Alex talked about their ArtsMark journey and inspired us with the breadth of cultural opportunities created for the children by bright initiatives and partnerships.

 

STEAM Co’s Nick Corston gave an impassioned talk about the work his organisation are doing to bring attention to the importance of creativity for the future of our country’s industries. He conveyed the importance of arts in our schools, and inspired us with quotes from educational and political figures who are singing from the same hymn sheet about creative education.

 

We were also thrilled to be joined by Tagtiv8, an active learning organisation that create games to help children to better understand phonics, spelling, maths and English, as well as Night Zookeeper, a digital learning tool to help children improve their creative reading and writing. Fix Up also joined us, with an inspiring talk about getting children to think outside the box and broaden their horizons by motivating themselves.

 

Finally, our fabulous host Stuart Barter (Chime) ran a CPD session on how to use creative storytelling in the classroom to introduce or to develop children’s understanding of literacy. Chime showed us how, using drama and movement with children, we can tease out higher level vocabulary, encourage teamwork and give children performance opportunities.

 

We ended the evening with a raffle and goodie bags to take home, as well as lots of networking and long chats over tea and biscuits!

 

You can view our Storify of #TeachMeet Creativity here.

 

What’s next?

 

It is so important for us to continue sharing ideas as well as developing our own knowledge from others who are looking to improve educational practise in the classroom. We are looking forward to attending and putting on as many TeachMeets as possible across the country, and learning as much as possible from others who are in the classroom, trying to make UK education the best it can be.

 

If you are inspired to put on your own TeachMeet, there are some links below which can help you organise your own. You can also find out more about TeachMeets and where you can find them in your area.

 

Please also keep an eye on our Twitter as we will be announcing upcoming dates for future #TeachMeet Creativity there.

 

http://teachmeet.pbworks.com/

https://www.eventbrite.com/d/united-kingdom/teach-meet/

https://twitter.com/ArtisEdu

http://www.teachertoolkit.me/2016/04/09/organising-teachmeets/

 

“Wonderful event on embedding arts in curriculum!”

Lucy Osborne, The Economists Educational Foundation

 

 

“What a lovely event. Love your work! “

Nick, STEAM Co.

 

 

“Lots of energy, fun, ideas and erm, biscuits!”

Sally Kindberg, #TeachMeet Creativity presenter

 

 

“Great to be part of what has to be one of the most fun and engaging TeachMeets I have attended – and I have been to a fair few. So many great ideas.”

Bryn, Tagtiv8

 

 

“Thank you so much for asking me to take part in yesterday’s TeachMeet – what a fantastic event! So impressed by all the presentations – especially the physical maths.”

Sally Kindberg, presenter at #TeachMeet Creativity London

 

 

#TeachMeetCreativity great night speaking at this event @ArtisEdu

Alex Kais, Monteagle Primary School

29 Mar 2017