Last Saturday, I had the absolute joy of going along to the most recent of the #BrewEd events. If you’re unaware of what #BrewEd is, well, it’s a bit of a mini CPD day. You’ll find a whole host of teachers/leaders/speakers getting together to talk about things they’re passionate about. It’s teachers and people passionate about education getting together to talk about teaching and education. All of that for like £6 too – a PROPER bargain. You’ll have a laugh, you’ll learn something, you’ll question some things, you’ll meet faces old and new. (I don’t really know how better to describe it. Ask Twitter, you’ll get some must better answers!)
The Toon edition of #BrewEd was held at the Cluny. I was there early (because obviously!) so I just decided to wait outside until I saw people going in. I mean, there are worse views to admire as you wait for something to start:
#BrewEd was brought to the Toon by the amazing Paul Watson and Colin Grimes and it was an incredible day. #BrewEdToon hosted some faces I knew well and some brand new faces to me. I’ll be honest, when I went in I was TERRIFIED. It was only my second ever teaching event (Reading Rocks being my first) and I felt like a PROPER fraud being in there, surrounded by some people who I completely admire. Once I was in there I realised that I was in a room of people just like me: people who loved teaching. There’s something so bloody refreshing about being in a room of people who have a passion for something that you also have passion for. We all gave up our Saturdays to go and listen, learn, talk about this wonderful world of teaching… and that is INCREDIBLE. (I could go on now about how much I love my job and it’s so wonderful to have a positive spin on something that there’s quite a lot of negativity around… but I’ll save that for another day!)
There were so many incredible speakers throughout the day talking about a whole host of things that I knew I needed to make notes. I won’t take you through all of my notes… but I will give you my biggest take aways from the day!
Here’s some TERRIBLE photos I took through the day:
One of the common themes that came from almost all of the speakers was:
What’s my why?
Why do I want to do this job? Why did I become a teacher? What is it that I want to get out of being a teacher? Knowing your why is important because teaching can be BLOODY HARD. Knowing your why will keep you going on those days when you feel like you’re pushing sand uphill.
Something that I’ve recently started banging on about, which was spoken about a lot at #BrewEdToon was:
The importance of vocabulary
Whether it’s in Maths, English, Science… if children don’t have the words for the thing they can’t talk about the thing. Give children the tools to talk about this Maths thing and they can talk about it; give children the words to talk about how they’re feeling and eventually they’ll start talking about it. Our language has so many incredible words and words open up so many doors. Give your children as many opportunities as you possibly can.
Another brilliant message that came from a few of the speakers was:
Give things a purpose
If you’re doing something just for the sake of it, if you’re doing something only for your eyes then you needn’t bother. There was a brilliant discussion around giving purpose to the children’s work – share it with the world and the kids will want to do their very best… this is something I’m such a proponent of. Things need a purpose, otherwise what’s the point?!
Another lovely thread that went through the day was:
The importance of having a voice/giving your kids a voice
I think this is something that we need to ALWAYS consider in the classroom. As adults, if we feel ignored or not listened to, we hate it… so it’s the same for our kids. Our kids are the most incredible teachers, so they can teach us a lot about what it’s like being a kid (we’ve forgotten cause we’re adults). Kids want to be heard in your classroom, just as we want to be heard as teachers. If there’s any conversations to be had about children, include them as often as you can. Not only children, include the parents too. Parents hold the keys to their children, so include them and it can have such a brilliant impact.
Some of the things I’m taking away from this to either try and action this half term, or to ponder over the next few months are:
- Try to use Twitter more widely for sharing work and giving work a purpose
I go through phases doing this, I need to be better at this.
- Create a glossary for Maths and start talking about Maths words more often
We do this in RE and we do it in SPaG, so I’d love to give this a go in Maths.
- Start making positive phone calls home
Now this is something I always think about doing and I would love to start, so I’d like to start that from next week… but don’t hold me to it!
- Start thinking of myself as a leader
As teachers, we are leaders and I’m not great at thinking of myself as a leader… so yes. I’m going to try!
- Trying to include children in conversations about them as often as possible, and with that, including parents in decisions about their children
I’m not saying that I DON’T include my children and their parents in decision making, but I think I can always do better.
I can honestly say that #BrewEdToon was such an incredible way to spend a Saturday that I will, when possible, try and attend as many as I can. It was such a welcoming and positive environment to be part of. It made me very proud to be a teacher, particularly a teacher in the North East.
If you check out #BrewEdToon hashtag on twitter, you’ll find a whole host of tweets from the day too. It was such a brilliant day! I would recommend following everyone on there – I haven’t named names here… but honestly, the speakers were all incredible.
If you’d like to know more about #BrewEd, follow the hashtag on Twitter… there’s constantly new events being announced and check the blog (#BrewEd) for more information.