The journey so far…
Back in June I posted “Be the change you want to see” and asked my PLN on Twitter to join me in forming part of the foundation committee that kicks off TeachMeets in WA.
There was an encouraging response from my WAPLN and so much support and encouragement available from our colleagues over nationally and internationally.
After a couple of informal chats, phone calls, emails and mostly tweets from eager educators I had a clearer vision and understanding of what educators needed TMWA to be, at least for now.
I was still thinking about where to from here. July holidays rolled along with our eagerly anticipated five days trip to Sydney. We were going to enjoy Sydney as tourists and watch our favourtie team Manchester United play Sydney All Stars. I managed to convince my husband that it was important for him to spend some holiday one-on-one time with Mr 11 and I was able to take time-out to pursue some of my own interests of which shoe shopping was on top of the list. I couldn’t pass up this great opportunity to connect with people in Sydney who had encouraged and inspired me and had been part of my PLN since 2012.
I caught up with a friend, John Goh, who I’d met as part of the Microsoft Partners in Learning Innovative Pilot Schools program in 2012. His provocative questions disturb, challenge and, inspire us all to find the courage to do things we believe in. He is also the man who introduced me to Twitter at a gala dinner over a few too many wines and taught me about hashtags, followers, trending, and getting a message across in 140 charaters, a completely new language.
A team of us at my workplace had been investigating contemporary, flexible learning spaces for some time. I have finally ordered some awesome furniture from Furnware. I was over the moon when Steve Collis said he was able to take me on a tour of SCiL. He was most insightful and inspirstional. I felt like I was being given the royal treatment by Steve. i am very grateful to him for spending time with me and not making fun of my kid in a candy store behaviour. Honestly, if you ever get a chance to visit SCilL do not miss the opportunity.
Sydney is also home to the Partners in Learning Project Manager, Richard Ryan, who had extended an invitation to visit Sydney Microsoft Office to have a sticky beak at the concept of the collaborative workspaces. I decided to take him up on his offer and I am glad I did. If those are the physical, virtual spaces our students are going to be working in then we need to rethink the learning spaces within the schools environments. Students need to claim the spaces they need for different kinds of learning and not be bound to desks and chairs.
The most anticipated meeting was with the famous bearded man, possibly every hipster’s envy. Matt Esterman, the TeachMeet guru and I had been chatting via Twitter for a while and I needed more than 140 characters, I needed to hear it warts and all, I needed the dirt on TMs. His main advise was to just go ahead and do it, he talked me through the process of setting up and running TMs and he made it sound so simple. There was no reason not to do it.
I have come home really inspired to make it happen.