I was a bit feart. In fact I was hugely nervous, feart, intimidated the lot. I attended the ResearchEd event in la belle Glasgow at the weekend and I really didn’t know what to expect.
A couple of really good friends were going and a teaching heroine of mine was speaking at it so the least I could do was go along and take spare pants to throw at her in a rock star style.
It had been a late night beforehand with a friend and when she asked me what it was all about, I couldn’t really explain.
You see, this was the first piece of CPD I had been to in a long time that I WASN’T actually delivering.
I suppose I have got sucked into only doing CPD that is subject related, albeit pedagogy as well as curricular updates but ResearchEd was a bit of professional me time.
I recognised a few people that I follow on Twitter and how awkward a is that when you are chatting to someone saying, yes, I follow you on Twitter but I am not a stalker.
Then there was the chance to finally meet with the good guys from my professional learning network who are friends. The ones who send you a wee message to check if you are ok, or who #ff you and you feel dead chuffed.
Hugs were surely dispensed with, jokes started and the banter lasted pretty much all day.
A few of us felt the same way – we were in the presence of some of the big players in education in the UK. The well-connected ones who people listen to. The bloggers, the writers, the podcasters, the vloggers and probably the hingers on as mammy would say.
It is only when you are listening to other people who don’t work in the same sector or geographical area you being to realise that you are in a fairly unique position of liking your job and working in a climate of development and aspiration.
My friend and I both commented on many an occasion on how what we did was different and what we liked ….we equally talked about the application of some of the more challenging ideas.
I liked the idea that we should be able to engage with research in order to better our teaching on the ground but let’s be honest, do some of us not associate research either with underpaid PhD students or dusty books or perhaps clipboards?
ResearchEd gave me the boot up the backside to engage a bit more with professional reading in my field and beyond. Beyond the TESS (nothing wrong with it tho) beyond Education Scotland website,beyond the traditional sources for information.
Watching a plethora of presenters was informative, entertaining, challenging but most of all thought-provoking. I was left with time sound bites written in my notes and a lot of things to actually ponder and plan with.
In talking with a friend recently about professional development and courses. He said that if it al least gave you the chance to be reflective the. It had to be a good thing.
ResearchEd made me reflect but also made me want to improve and engage with perhaps a bit more of the heavyweight side of my subject as well as actually doing some research which would maximise my ability to meet the needs.
It also gave way the chance for the most lovely catch up with some seriously talented teachers who were just the injection I needed.
I knew you would recognise the trainers……..braw.