Back to Perth…
I came back to Perth highly motivated to launch the successful TeachMeet Sydney model here. I needed to gather my forces.
Once again I used twitter to extend an invitation to other WA educators to join me at Bar 5 in Mt Lawley on the 3rd Aug to discuss the launch of TeachMeetWA. I made sure there was one confirmed attendee, Drew Mayhills, as I didn’t want to be at a bar drinking by myself. To my relief several responded and turned up, some educators, others education and media consultants. Drew Mayhills (@drewmayhills) , Ryan Powles (@hecpowles), Gabriella Trinca (@gabrielletrinca), Tamara Doig (@miss_d), Neil Spence (@neilcspence). Dianne Righby(@diperthwa), Sue Waters (@suewaters), Luke Skinner (@troutish), Leith Daniels (@leithned) and Rebecca Michaelson (@rebeccamichael4) formed the initial foundation team. There were others who sent apologies and would join us at the other meetings.
3rd of Aug was a productive day, TeachMeet WA formed its own identity. We became @WAPLN (West Australian Professional Learning Network) and from this day forward we were going to use our own hashtag #TMWA. We had a few pale ales and ciders and discussed dates, venues, presenters, formats etc as if we were planning a friends 21st.
The venue, Institute for Professional Learning, gave us the all clear and it was finalized that the inaugural Teachmeet was to be held on Wednesday the 4th of September 2013. We also decided to organize an after party, a dinner at a restaurant closeby so everyone could connect and continue the conversations about teaching and learning.t. Later, Tamara Doig documented the minutes of our first meeting in an infographic.
Now the work began.
We used EventBrite for our event registrations. Took less than twenty minutes to set it up. It’s free, and easy to use, does most of the administrative work for you. Love it! TeachmeetWA wiki set up by Matt Esterman for us needed to be updated. The TeachMeetWA FaceBook page was created and shared.
A formal invitation to the event was sent out to the Principals introducing TeachMeetWA through our own networks and channels. (CopyofTeachMeet4SeptEmailTeachers).
We asked for presenters and many within the committee were happy to share and they brought others along. Our hashtag #TMWA was becoming known and @WAPLN grew overnight and is attracting many followers. We didn’t have to do much at this stage other than promote it on twitter and our twitter PLN tweeted it to others.
Two weeks after our initial meeting we met once again to finalise venue details and later dined at the lovely Kitsch Tapas bar in Leederville.
We were anticipating approximately 30 attendees and the registrations surprised us. He had SOLD OUT! The venue’s was at full capacity at 80 within two weeks of the event being promoted, people on the waiting list and I was getting emails requesting me to let them come along.
I am really excited yet nervous at the same time, spending hours wondering what I had missed. And then I reassure myself, there is nothing better than teachers talking to teachers sharing good practice. It is the most releant PD they will get. We had extremely competent teachers presenting. The jobs had been delegated and everyone was extremely helpful.
We had also planned to include our isolated teachers in the rural areas as the event was going to be recorded and then uploaded to TMWA YouTube Channel. We decided to broadcast it live via UStream for all those who could not attend.
All we had to do now was wait for the day to arrive.