What Makes a Great Teacher?

I’ve been considering the question ‘What makes a good teacher great?’ for some time – and I can’t say I’ve got a definitive answer, but here’s what I think I know..

I’ve been fortunate and privileged to attend teachmeets in the region, and beyond, and what strikes me is that teachers love learning from each other. I recently wrote that seeing teachers at a teachmeet was like watching children play. Mutually supportive, eager to engage, taking it in turns to lead – and follow. One cannot help but notice the overwhelming sense of support, excitement and appreciation.

We also see this hunger for ideas and willingness to share experiences and resources among the Twitter community. Teachers frequently praise and compliment each other in a way that I suspect is not so likely within the confines of the school walls.

Although this mutually supportive online community functions very well, it is evident from tweets that there comes a point when people feel a need to meet face to face.

Bett2011, perhaps Europe’s largest education ICT show, enabled a minority of the UK Twitter teaching community to meet and put faces to names and share some time together. Bett is busy and exhausting and ultimately not primarily designed to be a meeting place for discussions and sharing ideas – although for those with the energy and time, there were some informal and organised opportunities for teachmeets and socialising.

What we really, really need is someone to organise a CPD event to build upon the best of the teachmeet and Twitter educators culture. So, what would this look like?

  • In a venue conducive to discussion and sharing ideas
  • In a location easily accessible for as many as possible
  • Discount accommodation for all
  • Feature as many of those inspiring Twitter people as possible
  • Lots of time to network and socialise
  • Food at meal times and not leave folk to grab something if they can
  • All the commercial suppliers together in the same place so they can be part of the conversation

What would the outcome be?

  • More ideas shared
  • More teachers motivated and supported
  • More links and partnerships established
  • More great teachers
  • More happy teachers

Okay. That all sounds like a good idea – where would we find such a thing?

Oh, y’know. That’ll be the Northern Grid CPD Event 24 June 2011

We have over 10 years’ experience in delivering a great CPD conference for teachers and local authorities. It’s always been very successful and featured keynote speakers and workshops led by teachers and LAs from around the region.

This year workshop speakers (each a leading light on Twitter, with a track record of inspiring teachers face to face and online) will typically have around 15mins to share their ideas and experiences. This means that the whole day will be an intensive experience for all delegates – with lots of ideas and contacts to follow up after the event.

I am hugely grateful to our Twitter friends who in many cases are travelling the length of the nation to lead workshops – and the high esteem in which they are each held is truly awe inspiring.

Many of our speakers are active members of the online education community and regular contributors to education related discussions on Twitter.

Russell Prue @russellprue

Steve Wheeler @timbuckteeth

Joe Dale @joedale

Lisa Stevens @lisibo

David Rogers @davidErogers

Jan Webb @janwebb21

Ian Addison @ianaddison

Martin Waller @multimartin

Dan Roberts @chickensaltash

Bev Evans @bevevans22

Mary Farmer @ebd35

Bill Lord @joga5

Steve Bunce @Stevebunce

Ian Usher @iusher

The event starts with the inspirational technology evangelist, Russell Prue followed by a fantastic range of quickfire workshops, and the closing keynote is the mighty Prof. Steve Wheeler – international, globe-trotting e- learning guru and sage. Throughout the day colleagues will be able to network, participate in learning conversations and experience the ICT suppliers exhibition.

My regret is there are so many amazing folk on Twitter I wanted to speak at the day it wasn’t possible to have them all –  but it’s my aim to organise further events to include them.

We have finite space for delegates and exhibitors at the venue and I urge you to register now, to secure your place – we don’t want to turn anyone away!

Any questions? You can find me at work here and on Twitter here.


One Response to What Makes a Great Teacher?

  1. Myris Groom says:

    Hi Simon not totally confident on Twitter although I do dabble a little maybe a lesson on how its done would be a good idea.

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