Thoughts on the BETT show 2012

Teachmeet So on Friday I dashed away from Northampton to catch the train down to London to catch up with friends old and new at the BETT2012 TEACHMEET . as soon as a it through the door I was me by a sea of friendly faces , people there to share there ideas and strategies to elp their pupils become better learners . Giving up their Frday night some of whom had already done 3 days of BETT now that’s commitment ! so there ‘Mr Gove ‘ I attended my first Teachmeet 2 years ago in the same room and sadly missed last years although I did attend BETT .I was looked from the off , because it was a revelation o find that there were teachers like me , who wanted to experiment with new technology in order I engage and enthuse pupils. I had seen the fantastic Tim Rylands speak in Milton Keynes and had already started to experiment with blogging and websites etc Anyway I filled a couple of pages of my notebook with lists of websites to visit , twitter names etc (I found the original the other day ) I think the thing that struck me most was that everyone was just like me. There was no one claiming to be doing it the best way , just enthusiastic real teachers sharing what worked well for them . There was an attitude of I’ve it a go and try it for yourself . This year we had two trainee teachers up and I was inspired to hear how they were using blogging as a tool to develop as teachers . I was also impressed that they were specialising in ICT (if only I had the chance when I was training ) So this years Teachmeet didn’t disappoint . it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces and people who like me just kept coming back.Plus I got say thank you to Mr Rylands himself. I feel part of something exciting , I feel proud to know so many exciting and innovative teachers .

This year I am going to aim to get to more teachmeets if I I can and maybe even shedfest . BETT I don’t really come to BETT for the stands , although there are always a few I make a point of visiting (brainpop,rising stars,2simple etc ) I go for the people. I remember meeting Mary for the first ime haing arranged t meet up through a teaching forum . She had to call me to come out with some change to park .Mary is an inspirational teacher and extremely well deserving of all the accolades she has picked up. People are what make BETT for me , I can remember quite a few of the conversations I have had and I have gone away with my head buzzing with ideas about teaching and gone straight back into school and done something about it . I am definitely a better teacher because of that .

Three things that were highlight for me apart from the people .

1. Listening to Pie Corbett talking about sentence building games on the Nelson Thornes stand .Ideas to use on Monday that  and will have an immediate impact .

2. Eavesdropping the # domoredu session . I had seen the hash tag on twitter , despite the dodgy wi if so decided to investigate . I spent a good half an hour listening to educators collaborating and discussing a range of ideas , haven ‘t had the chance to look back yet .

3. Being handed an iPad and getting a 2 hour practical demo of some of the best apps for education .Filled a notebook up with names and ideas( fell in love with garage band)


2011 some educational books I enjoyed last year

So where was I – ah yes

I had given the overview of my thoughts about year 4 so far .


So the last year has been one of my most challenging , but one that I have survived . I think I am now in a place to develop and grow as an educator. Here are some things I have learnt  this year

Books that have inspired me( links to amazon if you click)

Why do I need a teacher when I have Google-Ian Gilbert

I am a big fan on Ian Gilbert’s work ,he talks a lot of sense and has an understanding of what really goes on in the classroom. His style is engaging and a lot of what he says is  common sense ( but remember I was going through the year from hell and common sense can be lacking when you are in a fight or flight situation) .

It is a scary thought when you consider that children in  class right now are learning  and preparing for jobs that may not haven’t even been invented yet . Which brings me nicely onto:

The Element – How finding your passion changes everything  Sir Ken Robinson

Again another amazing orator and educationalist just look up some of his TED talks . He reiterates a lot of what Ian was talking about , but also  makes you consider your own motivations .

Throughout my darkest days last year I never once considered quitting teaching – ( perhaps I may have had to leave , or change the place I worked , but teaching runs through my veins )




The lazy teacher’s handbook- Jim Smith

Aah another great book , which again as an easy read , but full of tips and techniques for use in the classroom . I am now in the beginnings of experimenting with techniques such as “teach the cat” and have seen some great results and increased confidence from my children. Its early days and If i manage to keep up blogging I will detail  further.


Talk for writing across the curriculum – Pie Corbett and Julia Strong

As a literacy leader I was lucky enough to attend one of Pie’s Talk for writing conferences  and came away enthused and inspired raring to go . But you know how it sometimes is : those notes get misplaced, “oh what was it he said again ?” ” “what type of text was that ?”

Well this title  is inset / lesson planning and inspiration in one handy place  and there is even a DVD included with Pie himself talking ( filmed at the courses he delivered)

What I love about Pie’s work is that it works ! We had so much fun doing our work on dragons  and the structured was that it was taught helped even  my children who struggle come up with their own ideas. I am looking forward to getting stuck into the persuasive writing unit this term 🙂


and if you needed further convincing  just watch this



I could go on and list all of the educational books I have read and sorry if I didn’t mention  all – but these are a great starting point for anyone who is either starting out in teaching , or like me just wants to keep learning .

Here’s to a great 2012 




Vocabulary Ninja

"Words unlock the doors to a world of understanding."

Steps in teaching & learning

Using technology in the classroom


Bev's adventures in ICT

Adventures in Learning

in an EBD Classroom

Classroom Tales

Reflections, Resources and general musings from a primary school teacher.

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