The TeachMeet event for History teachers…

I love teaching ( hence LoveToTeach the very obvious and not so subtle title!) and exploring pedagogy, research, methods and so on. I am also very passionate about my subject – History ( my mum remembers me at nine years old and being obsessed with the Tudors!). Although I have taught various other subjects as well such as Geography, Religious Education, Politics, Drama, Social Studies and even Welsh! As well as trying to stay on top of my workload I aim to keep up with the latest developments in education. As a Historian I am always keen to delve deeper into a specific period or study another event/period/country that I have yet to learn about. Subject knowledge and pedagogy are both very important elements of continuing professional development for all educators. TeachMeet History Icons is a very unique event focusing on teaching and learning, specifically within History. It is a TeachMeet ( free CPD event) hosted and organised by History teachers for History teachers. I am delighted to be a co-host, organiser and presenter once again this year as we return on the 1st April in Chester! The idea has to be credited to my good friend Tom Rogers who approached me about organising this event and I am so glad he did.

Basically, for anyone who didn’t attend last year or hasn’t been to a TeachMeet before then I will provide an overview of the event. The day was filled with different presentations from sponsors (all of whom were had a connection to the History curriculum) and History teachers. Teachers had an allotted amount of time to share resources, ideas or content that had worked well in their classrooms. Below is an outline of the day:

Morning arrival – meet and greet and network over tea and coffee.

Welcome from myself, Tom, Sean and Leanne the organisers and hosts.

The various sponsors presented, explaining what they had to offer History teachers. The wonderful Esprit shared with us how they work with teachers to provide high quality History trips to various locations such as the WW1 battlefields. Espirit shared their passion for hands on, interactive approach to learning about the past and their focus to design trips to suit the needs of each school they work with. Travel Places also discussed the various offers and school visits they provide, not just in History. David McDermott from HTX Video coaching is well known on the TeachMeet scene and he shared some wonderful teaching and learning gems to implement in the History classroom! We were all very privileged to listen to Kevin Hicks from Squaducation retell his own personal experiences of warfare. As well as the memorable stories the Squaducation website offers a wide range of short video clips across different periods and topics that can be used in the classroom. I have previously blogged about the different ways I have used the Squaducation resources with my pupils, you can read that here.  It was thanks to these sponsors that the event was paid for so that 150 teachers could attend the event at the McDonald Blossom hotel in the heart of the beautiful historical Chester city center and enjoy a delicious lunch and refreshments!

Next, the keynote presenter. When we discussed the idea of a keynote Russel Tarr was instantly our agreed first choice! Russel is Head of History in Toulouse, the creator of both activehistory and classtools (if you haven’t checked out his websites I strongly recommend you do so!) as well as hosting Practical Pedagogies in France. Russel is the author of the History teaching and learning book A History Teaching Toolbox. We were so delighted when he agreed to be the keynote at TMHistoryIcons! We knew he would be fantastic on the day and would also attract a lot of History teachers to sign up to our event! His presentation was a wealth of innovative and creative ideas for the History classroom. He proudly shared examples of his pupils outstanding work and totally inspired his audience!

Next the hosts/organisers presented. I have presented at various educational events but I really enjoyed presenting at this event. I felt relaxed because I was in a room with so many positive, enthusiastic and supportive teachers. We all shared various History resources from starter activities to #poundlandpedagogy to exam technique!

Lunch – lovely!

Teachers presented from 4 minute to 8 minute burts of the best CPD I had ever had. Every presentation by a Secondary teacher of History was engaging, relevant and useful. Highlights for me have to be Carol Stobbs explaining all her amazing strategies to focus on and develop source analysis (Carol’s blog about source overlays can be found here). Dave Stacey showed how Edtech can be used within our lessons with his very memorable and entertaining presentation. Also, Scott Allsop aka MrAllsop History…superb! I loved his energy, passion, wit combined with original and clever ideas. Secret reveal: we all liked Scott’s presentation so much that we asked him on that very day would he be the next keynote speaker! He was that awesome…no pressure now Scott!

The day ended with final thanks to all and networking, with food and drinks in Chester. However, the networking mainly via social media has carried on. Teachers tweeting how they had tried the ideas shared in the lessons, often with great success!

Don’t just take my word for it about how fantastic it was …I am obviously biased! You can read a reflection blog of the day by Dave Stacey here and Hannah Tuffnell here. Below are some quotes from the hashtag #TMHistoryIcons from people who attended the event…

The event was also streamed live via Persicope for any teachers unable to attend the event.

If you want to sign up there are still some places available to attend and possibly present. Click on this link to find out more. It will be taking place on Saturday April 1st at Crowne Plaza hotel in Chester.  If you have any questions or want to discuss the event with me you can get in touch via my contact page or drop me a message on Twitter or the TMHistoryIcons Twitter page.

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