The death of teachmeets?

Teach meets started as an informal gathering of teachers, hoping to share ideas and learn from each other. They we free and informal and for teachers, by teachers. Some presentations were good, some were bad, some useful some less so but they were democratic and practitioner- led. They were the antidote to conferences and courses that cost £100s of pounds ( themselves and in cover) often led by people whose job it seems at times it to make money from our educational system.

Teachers wanted to listen to professionals who still taught and who taught kids like ours. In schools like ours. With timetables like ours. We were tired of hearing the latest eduguru tell us stuff that wasn’t directly applicable in our classrooms. We were tired of going to conferences and hearing the same key- note speakers put minutely different spins on the same message. We were tired of missing our classes to go on courses that didn’t really impact our teaching.

The first time I went to a TM it was a breath of fresh air, teachers who had given up heir personal time to develop professionally, you could feel the energy and good will in the room. I felt invigorated but even then I noticed some signs that the honey moon couldn’t last. A few presentations were barely masked pitches for educational services. Commercial companies had caught wind of teach meets and seen it as a new way to market. Some we probably worried that teachers would stop going to traditional paid for conferences and decided to jump on the teach meet bandwagon.

Now I wonder if we as a profession are allowing teach meets to become the very things that we railed against? As a causal and fairly novice observer (attender of 2 teachmeets and observer pf others via Twitter) some TMs are starting to look depressingly the same, the same star presenters, often superbloggers plugging their forthcoming books, the same keynote speakers ( now starting to migrate from the laid for conference circuit) and in some cases even the same audiences.

Today I note that Osiris, an educational course provider has, out of the goodness of its heart supposedly started a website where people can

This isn’t what the revolution was meant to be? Was it?

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