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    A forum to help plan TeachMeet Retreat, Scotland 2012, and mop up the aftermath!


    I’m really keen to collaboratively plan this event, and up until now we’ve been doing so in the following Google Doc:

    This has now become quite a mess and so from now on I think this forum might be a better place to discuss ideas. So if you have any thoughts, ideas, suggestions for TMRetreat please post them here.


    Ok, so BeerMeet last night then, what did we discuss?

    We discussed some of the logistics…i.e. I need to find out what the accommodation is like exactly and what the minimum booking is, we’re going to have a quiz, and we might organise drinks through the cash & carry somehow as well. We also discussed that we’d like to get at least 25 folk ideally, but 20 as an absolute minimum – get tapping on shoulders & twisting arms folks!

    However, the main outcome from last night was around the purpose of the weekend. John (@MrSMathsWizard) raised an interesting idea that I was really taken by. One of the worries that John, and I, have about the videos we produce is – what are they going to be used for? What is their purpose exactly? Who’s going to watch them and what impact will they have? John suggested that the purpose of the weekend should be a retreat for those of us who care enough about our particular theme to go away and develop a strategy, and some resources, to be able to go back to our colleagues in our own institutions and persuade others of our way of thinking.

    This way, whilst we still might make videos, they would have a much clearer purpose – as would the weekend. The videos would be designed to be useable in schools/colleges/universities with our colleagues as part of some sort of CPD event we’d be leading on. This way it’s much more likely to have a sustainable impact, and should prove to be a much richer experience for us professionally also.

    As I say, I really am taken by this suggestion. What do others think?


    Had a reply from Innerwick…

    “Prices currently as per the booking conditions form –

    £13.00 per person per night for Adults 18+
    £11.00 per person per night for Under 18’s

    The is a Minimum of 12 people at the time of year you are going, no deposit is required and you will be invoiced after your stay.”

    Jane Thomson

    First of all, thanks to Fearghal for organising this and also for setting me up in WordPress! Prices are very good so I’m definitely in. Olivia, Kirsty and I decided at #beermeet that we will also bring some home baking.
    John’s suggestion is very good; he’s right that the weekend should really be about thinking, reflecting, sharing our understandings. If we can produce anything, that would be a bonus.
    Can I also make a plea? How do we recruit new blood (not that your’s is old). Kenny was spot on when he blogged about our TM community having the same mindset. We really do need other thinkers, other perspectives to get to the heart of effective education in Scotland. How can we do this? Can we discuss this at the retreat? Meanwhile, I’ll keep working on colleagues at work to sign up – tomorrow it’s the lollipop man I’m targeting:)

    Martyn Call

    Hey Fearghal,
    Great prices for Innerwick! It’s fairly easy to get to from Edinburgh as well (and the Borders, which is a plus. Car share anyone?)
    I really like the idea for a video or some kind of media that shows the enthusiasm and thinking of Scottish teachers.
    Gonna keep on retweeting the retreat (say that fast ten times) and trying to drum up support from teachers down here. Think I may have intrigued a few colleagues in the staff-room today.


    Sorry I couldn’t make the #beermeet but duty in the form of Chinese lanterns called.
    The price is really good and shouldn’t put folks off. I like the idea of a video to get across the atmosphere and enthusiasm – would be able to find a spot for this? As for the impact – sometimes learning happens unintentionally, so if you just put it out there … you never know it might inspire the casual browser. And there’s always YouTube! Also, may be for the first one you might want people of a similar mind-set, just to help embed the concept of a TeachMeet Retreat – from small acorns …!” For me it’s not the number of people but the diversity and spread geographically that’s the best way of getting the word out. Make it a success (small if necessary) then look to build on that success. It’s a fantastic idea that can’t but be a success.

    Kirsty Forbes

    Firstly, thankyou to all who came along to #beermeet and everyone for their enthusiasm for this idea. I love John’s idea, and also agree with Gareth that we may have to accept this event will not change the world, but be another start for another way of thinking. Personally, whatever the focus becomes I look forward to the opportunity to retreat, discuss, share but also due to the extend time also reflect on what has been discussed, shared and created!

    I am wary about getting involved with organisations such as Education Scotland, purely as our focus was very grass roots and we don’t want to lose that.

    Prices/place looks fab, minimum people looks totally doable with hopefully more, I have a cash and carry crew and we’re all go! Can also lift share if you would like Martyn?

    Hoping to start spreading the word!


    Me and the weans took a wee trip up to Innerwick today to check out the facilities. The place has been recently refurbished and is really nicely done inside. It is like a high speck youth hostel. It has a new kitchen, nice and big with a big fridge and big freezer. There are two public rooms, one for dining, and one for lounging. Both could be used for group work too, with max of 3 groups in the big room and 2 in the dining room, I guess if there are more groups we could put chairs in the dorm rooms, or if it is nice weather there is plenty of outside space. For sleeping there are 2 twin rooms (shotgun!) and 4 dorm rooms sleeping between 6 and 8 each. The dorms are in two pairs sharing a set of toilets and showers, so would work well are a boys and girls pair of dorms. It was toasty warm inside and there is plenty of parking. Orla’s opinion was that it smelt a bit, but she is 3 – it could have been a compliment! So seems like a good spot for the weekend.

    Kirsty Forbes

    TMRetreat is getting closer and we have 22 participants so far! Thank-you for signing up! With this in mind we have been having some thoughts on how to structure the retreat and how to avoid it becoming just a long TeachMeet. The idea started with the basis of coming together and creating something, or developing a way to impact on Education. A thought that we have had now is to begin on the Friday evening with looking at the International Futures Forum booklet on Transformative Innovation in Education located here

    The idea of ‘3 horizons’ in this paper, through discussion, would hopefully create themes to focus on in groups for the rest of the weekend. The product being that each group would create something; text, audio, video, scribbles – anything recording their thoughts on the theme and how the change in education could be brought about which could then be ‘recorded’ on for others to see/input on and the conversation would hopefully continue. The Saturday would be set aside for this group work, with a presenting/feedback session in the evening and then time on Sunday to address feedback given before departing. Thoughts?

    Martyn Call

    I really like the idea of using the 3Hs tool. We’ve been using it in the dept for our evaluations and DIP development. We have a massive one on the wall in the base covered in post-its. Sad but true.

    I think it’s important that we create something (or at least have the backbones that can be fleshed out later) over the weekend. I’m sure through general discussion we’ll have our ususal ‘teacher chat’ and sharing of good practice, but this will help to keep focus and hopefully develop something that teachers across Scotland can possibly tap in to.

    Shotgun on one of the tipis.

    Kirsty Forbes

    Teachmeet Retreat has been canceled due to lack of participants. I have emailed everyone who added their e-mail to the wiki, can you help spread the message to those that have not. Hopefully we can do it another time!

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