TLTing at windmills


Well, it was a choice between that and trying to work out some kind of extended metaphor involving “ToiLeT training”…

Yesterday was the second Teaching and Learning Takeover – the education conference at Southampton University, brainchild of David Fawcett
and Jenn Ludgate. Having attended the first one, last year, I had been looking forward to this one for some time; it ranks alongside ILILC and Pedagoo London/Pedagoo Sunshine, the best events I have attended since the social media explosion opened my eyes to the incredible network of fellow-educators out there… and the enormous potential for mining their brains!

The four sessions I attended were run by Phil Stock (codifying literary genres to create and support a whole-school literacy strategy), Kerry Pulleyn (a run-down of how her school had dealt with its own literacy issues – and an opportunity to crowdshare the attendees’ varied approaches to this challenging area), Martyn Reah and Tania Harding (stepping into Mark Healy‘s shoes and tackling the twin issues of staff and pupil wellbeing) and last but certainly not least, Rachel Jones (a whirlwind whizz through a selection of her current favourite analogue and digital classroom tools).

I don’t intend to offer a detailed run-down of these 4 sessions: with their usual amazing dedication and efficiency, David and Jenn will doubtless have all the presenters’ slide-decks saved to the TLT Dropbox within days, and they will be available to a wider audience.

What I would like to focus on is, for me, the central point of the whole day – and also Tom Sherrington‘s opening words and Kev Bartle‘s closing plenary-oké session (you kind of had to be there – but thanks to the marvels of digital technology, if you scour YouTube you can pretend you were!)

What drew us all together on an October Saturday, near the end of a wearying first half of term, when we could have been marking Y9’s exercise books, planning next week’s lessons, writing papers for the upcoming internal school exams*… or even taxi-ing our own children to swimming/ballet/football…?

As Kev warned us, we were not there because we are somehow “special” superteachers, worth more than those colleagues yet to discover the huge potential impact to our CPD of online collaboration, and the weekend conferences which spring from this. And as Tom pointed out – in spite of the 224 retweets** of his most popular ever tweet…


… it’s not all about thumbing our nose at the “Four Horsemen/women of the Ofsted/SLTocalypse”***

What we are all really after is, quite simply, finding and sharing better and better ways to do what we do.


* all things I caught up with on Sunday – yay! 😉
** wonder how many RTs it has had NOW? Or whether Kev’s picture of the tweet (above) has overtaken it, in a weird sort of meta-race?!
*** not sure if that bit works, tbh… Hey ho.


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