TeachMeets are informal, collaborative experiences organised by educators, for educators, in order to share ideas and experiences. The focus is on sharing ideas through short presentations (typically 2, 5 or 7 minutes long) with teachers attending as a participant or a presenter.
TeachMeets are often based on a specific theme, for example technology use, tools for informal assessment or differentiation. They can be held in a variety of spaces and be hosted by anyone.
There are no rules to a TeachMeet, but generally there are three types:
- Small group TeachMeets – require less organisation with the purpose to provide a place and a time for teachers to share. These events are often held within a school and may be useful for a particular group of teachers such as Early Career Teachers sharing classroom management strategies, strategies to embed teaching a numeracy skill into KLAs etc.
- Larger group TeachMeets – are usually held in a local library, school hall or other public space. These provide teachers an opportunity to share practices from their contexts and build relationships with colleagues.
- Cross-school, regional or statewide TeachMeets – involve many sessions and presenters from different school contexts. These TeachMeets are generally promoted on wikispaces, social media and TeachMeet NSW.
- Are collaborative experiences organised by educators, for educators, to network and share ideas and experiences.
- Are teacher-driven and highly participatory.
- Consist of short, targeted presentations or discussions.
- Build communities of practice and foster ongoing collaboration and sharing.
- Are free for participants.
How do I organise and facilitate a TeachMeet?
- Identify a theme for your TeachMeet, book a date and venue and ensure you have enough time to promote the event and ensure teachers can attend. If this is a larger event, consider how you will promote the event with a twitter hashtag or inclusion of the event on a website such as TeachMeet NSW.
- Most TeachMeets are hosted outside of school time, for example 4:30pm to 6:30pm, to enable the maximum number of participants to attend. Consider ease of travel to the venue, parking, internet access etc. when booking a venue. TeachMeet coordinators often arrange an informal social event, often referred to as a TeachEat, following sharing of practice and professional learning to build networks and relationships between staff.
- Invite participants and presenters and collate registration data. If this is a larger event, TeachMeet organisers should set up an online booking space to keep track of registrations and presentations. This may be facilitated by an online sharing platform (for example Google Spreadsheets), which will allow easy collation of attendees and technical requirements for presentations. Alternatively, the coordinator can take ownership over organising and collating presenter information.
- Host your event. Prepare either one large space for presentations or different rooms or stations for presenters to present their work, depending on the number of participants and size of the event. Ensure any equipment (projectors, sound, internet access) is arranged, prepare a schedule for presentations and consider name tags if participants are unknown to each other.
- Include an evaluation survey to be completed by participants to guide future professional learning events.
Things to Consider
- TeachMeet is a free professional learning event. Consider costs of hiring spaces, printed materials or refreshments provided when coordinating with school leaders.
- Ensure that your date and time is appropriate to a majority of educators. If organising a cross-school or larger event, check dates with school leaders prior to confirmation, in order to maximise attendance and seek support.
Further reading and resources
TeachMeet NSW— find a TeachMeet to attend.