I was humming Ralph McTell’s lovely emigrant’s lament last Friday evening while diving to TeachMeet Clare. “It’s a long long way from Clare to Here“. To my surprise, it wasn’t as long as I expected; the new M18
runway motorway shortened the journey from Cavan to Ennis considerably – many thanks to those who constructed it.
The welcome from Clare Education Centre, Director Pat Hanrahan and his staff, and from convenor and curator Leanne Ní Loinsigh was warm and nourishing on such a wild evening. With Leanne at the helm and Pat as Fear a’ Tí, organisation and timekeeping was goodnatured but efficient and the evening flowed by at a most enjoyable pace. The speakers were a great mix of levels and sectors. The full list of topics and presenters is below; with the added interlude of a Go Noodle “hopping on the spot” energiser that Leanne got us all to do half way through the evening. I was impressed that Pat himself was the hopping ringleader, and Leanne also did it with us, Ginger Rogers style – backwards and in heels.
I loved the flavour of the entire evening – each presenter adding their own their tuppence worth on what was driving their classrooms forward these days. Everyone there learned a lot about each others’ teaching lives in a short time. My three ‘take aways’ this time were the two themes that seemed to flowed through many of the presentations, and one genius piece of craft now added to the TeachMeet toolkit.
- the “playful classroom” – we could sense the playful atmosphere of many of the classrooms spoken about over the evening – the hands-on maths, the recorded and spoken Gaeilge, the student-led coding, the Aistear programme being extended across the school day, actual food being used when learning about food, the authenticity of using green screen activities across the curriculum, founding a business to learn business, the Tagtiv8 activities taking mental maths and spoken English into the playground;
- the matching of an “expert” visitor with the resident expert classroom manager (us teachers) – e.g. having a visiting computer programmer helping students to design how to learning about the weather by live measuring their actual weather; the craft expert visiting and working along classroom teacher and students together to teach new creative skills;
- Leanne’s finalé – her Big Picture review of how we’d got to this point was passionate and heartfelt and graceful – included a rapid review in which she took us backwards through the @TeachMeetClare twitter timeline, to review what we had covered over our evening together – a touch of genius that.
It was a delight also to have two members of the Youth Media Team present with mentor Pamela O’Brien (whom I *think* I overheard saying she it was time she returned to posting on her own blog? Just saying). Amy and Cara (or is it Cara and Amy) recorded and uploaded some mojo interviews for theYMT.fm blog. I was pleased to be asked to speak a little in memory of the departed legend that is Tim Rylands, whose memorial service was on at the same time as the TeachMeet.
Many thanks Leanne for a superb Friday evening of sharing – lots of teachers met new others, and shared good ideas. To misquote Fr Ted in his adopted county – Up With This Sort Of Thing!
TeachMeet Clare 17/11/17 speaker list –
Mags Amond – TeachMeet, BreakoutEDU, and pimp-my-badge glowie
Chris Reina – TeachTechSupport – 57+ varieties of apps
Martina O’Grady – Scoil Réalt na Mara, Kilkee – the adventure of replacing textbook maths in the junior classroom with active hands-on mathematics.
Aaron Carroll – Cratloe NS – flipping the cómhrá Gaeilge in 6th class by using the interactive website irishhomework.ie
Sean Murphy – Ennistymon CBS – Using Rapsberry Pi and Minecaft to teach coding
Roseanne Healy – using concrete models and graphic organisers to improve literacy
Niamh Quinn – Quilty NS – extending the Aistear into more senior classes
Bryn LLewellyn – Tagtiv8 Active Learning (UK) – for literacy, numeracy, and movement
Steve Holmes – Creative Computer Lab – how to build a classroom weather station with sensors and Scratch
Cormac Cahill – Carrigaline ETNS – using green screen technology with students
Lauren King – Ennistymon BBS – the Business in Action project and The Tenner Challenge
Jackie Maurer – a potter from Ballyvaughan – the CraftEd project from the Craft Council of Ireland
Leanne Lynch – TeachMeet convenor – reflection on Why We Do What We Do?