It has been almost a week since my first Teachmeet - tmlothians11 - and I'm only now beginning to reflect on the experience. The night itself, while being a thrill from start to finish, seemed a blur at the time; it was only when I watched myself on the recording the next morning that I realised what I had said and how I had said it. (my spot comes about 2 hours 55 minutes in if you want to scroll forward on the playback ). The talk itself was not particularly ground-breaking; it won't change the world but the huge personal satisfaction it has given me is very important. And it comes at the end of the most important, exciting year of my teaching career.
A year ago I would never have been able to stand up and do that. I didn't have the confidence, was in awe of those who could, and really didn't think I had anything interesting to say. Two things changed all that.
Almost a year ago to the day I had a conversation with a non-teaching friend about Twitter, a conversation during which I smirked and dismissed this new fangled kid speak. Why would I want to tell people what I was up to? By the time I returned to school in August, however, I had signed up and it completely changed my career.
The contacts I have met through Twitter - too numerous to mention here; I'd hate to leave anyone out - have enhanced my teaching life, given me the confidence to share my ideas and to believe in the possibility of a truly bright future for education in Scotland and the wider world. It has been the greatest Professional Development tool, the best Inservice Day, the most fulfilling Departmental Meeting, the most helpful support system I could ever have imagined.
I 'met' educators who shared my beliefs and thought the same things about education as I did. These great people blogged and tweeted, tweeted and blogged and, on January 1st, as part of a vaguely negotiated resolution package (don't ask) I began blogging.
'How can I tell what I think until I see what I say?' said E.M Forster and never a truer word has been said, in terms of Writing.
Just Trying to be Better that Yesterday will never be a great blog but it is mine and I'm very proud of it. It has allowed me to get things off my chest, to articulate learning occurring in my classroom and to focus on ideas which I've been playing around with. It has made me a better teacher. It brought me to the Scottish Book Trust in Edinburgh on Tuesday night, presenting my thoughts to a room full of great people.
While I'm looking forward to a well-earned summer break, I'm already mentally planning for August. Teachmeet was a wonderful way to bring this year to an end. I cannot wait for the next one.