An emotional day today: my son has just flown off to Hawaii to get married next Friday and I won’t be there to witness at first hand such a momentous event… and this afternoon I’ve also had to say goodbye to all the fabulous folk who travelled from afar to be with us for the first ever Teachmeet in the Western Isles, #tmhebrides. Oh, and not to forget that one of @anneglennie’s alpacas had a baby!
This side of #tmhebrides weekend, if you’re wondering whether or not to organise a Teachmeet or attend your first Teachmeet, my advice is: absolutely, go on, just do it!
The fantastic community of Twitter edu-friends across the UK helped with arrangements and offered words of encouragement, joined us via the live on-line link up, publicised the event in advance and contributed on the day via Twitter; as well as several of these brilliant people also making the long and expensive trip from Glasgow, Ayr and Elgin to be with us on the day to contribute their own presentations and words of encouragement to new teachmeeters and, hopefully, a new group of education tweeters and Pedagoo enthusiasts – thanks especially to @kennypieper, @daveterron and @literacyadviser. It has been a brilliant weekend of eat/greet/beer-meets on Friday and Saturday evening, Teachmeet itself on Saturday morning, and trips to various awesome Hebridean beaches yesterday afternoon and this morning. The local black pudding producers have also had a good weekend of it!
The emotion today comes partly out of relief following the previous anxiety in advance of the weekend: will it be a success, will everyone turn up, will the participants enjoy it and take away something valuable, will the effort be worth it, and so on and on? I needn’t have worried: the weekend had its own momentum and everyone who came along, in whatever capacity, not only enjoyed everything about it but actively contributed to its success. The enthusiasm in the room during and after the event was palpable and people lingered to continue chatting over lunch, to sign up for Twitter, to get contact details from each other and exchange copies of presentations and handouts. It was inspiring.
The emotion today also comes from the generosity of those who gave of their time and expertise to make this a success; the passion and conviction with which participants spoke yesterday; how folk have reacted today; the anecdotes and experiences that have been shared throughout the weekend; the enthusiasms that have been ignited and the new friends that have been made. I’ve had many enthusiastic messages today in person, by email, on Facebook and on Twitter. In one of @kennypieper’s presis yesterday, he spoke about the ‘trickle’ effect of getting people involved in Twitter, #pedagoofriday, Teachmeets, blogging, Pedagoo.org, and how if even just one new person joined up to Twitter or Pedagoo as a result of #tmhebrides his participation would have been worth it. I would say the ‘trickle’ has definitely started here – with a shower of enthusiasm!
So, a really huge thanks to everyone who contributed towards making #tmhebrides such a success. And remember, if you’re swithering about whether to try your own Teachmeet: go on, just do it!