It’s funny how things often seem to go in spirals. This session I’ve been to my first two #BeerMeets, and yet they were strangely familiar. I’ve realised they reminded me of my very first TeachMeet!
What’s a #BeerMeet? It’s pretty simple really – it’s very much what it says on the tin. It’s a trip down the pub with a bunch of other teachery types. What’s the plan? None. Who presents? Noone. What do you discuss? Whatever comes up. So, why bother? Lots of reasons!
First and foremost, it’s fun. We’re busy people. We work hard and we go to lots of “courses”. It’s nice to learn from each other in a totally different environment to normal and relax at the same time. In fact, it’s quite different to most other social and learning experiences. It’s a completely relaxed and normal trip to a bar, as you might do with your friends, but you’re allowed to talk “shop”. And you’re talking about learning and teaching in an environment you wouldn’t normally experience at work.
It’s completely and utterly collaborative. Just like any trip to the pub, the conversation is free flowing. Anyone can join in at any point and the topic changes as naturally as normal. In many ways, this is the type of dialogue we’re always trying to encourage at TeachMeets these days with round table discussions etc, but in a pub it just happens. As a result, it’s much more socially constructive in nature and therefore leads to a more dynamic and relevant discussion. I’ve left these last two #BeerMeets more enthused and full of ideas than when I’ve left some TeachMeets!
It’s completely non-threatening. Everyone’s been to the pub. They know how it works. Teachers who would never consider presenting at a TeachMeet (or attend a TeachMeet for that matter) will happily come along to the pub, and will even begin to share their own practice and ideas. It’s a great way for teachers who aren’t used to the whole TeachMeet/Twitter world to get involved.
And so, it’s for this reason that we reckon that 2012 should be the year of the #BeerMeet! Let’s have them all over the country…as frequently as we can. And even better lets make as many of them #BeerMeet+1 – where you have to bring along a teacher who’s not on twitter!
I suggested this on twitter last night and it’s all happening already! We’ve had a #BeerMeet in Edinburgh in January, so far it looks as though there’s going to be…
And if you are organising one and you would like somewhere to post the details online, feel free to use this new forum if you like.
Image by davidgilmour