Bringing out the MacGyver in you

The very first Melbourne ‘meetELT’ event was held in September 2017 at the Metropolitan Hotel in central Melbourne, with 45 English language teachers coming together after a day’s work to network, relax and pick up some practical professional development along the way. Inspired by the success of the Sydney meetELT events which have now been running for four years, the organisers were keen to get a local event off the ground, using templates, documents and processes shared from Sydney organisers to make sure they didn’t have to re-invent the wheel!

meetELT aims to bring engaging, accessible PD to English language teachers who couldn’t or wouldn’t go to more ‘traditional’ industry events like conferences. Part of the long-running success of meetELT is the sense of fun and community at each event, which you may be able to glean from these great pictures from the evening:

Personally, it was my first time organising and attending a PD session by teachers, for teachers. I was really excited and I could feel the energy in the room even though the teachers had gone through a full day of teaching. As organisers, we were a bit nervous but we were certain everyone was going to have a good time: we had a good line up of engaging speakers and yummy food to go around!

The theme of this meetELT Melbourne session was ‘MacGyver!’, named after the American action hero from the 1980s, Angus MacGyver. MacGyver was known to be very resourceful and solved complex problems with ordinary things – something teachers might be familiar with!

The session aimed to explore ideas and strategies that helped tackle challenges teachers face regularly in the classroom like:

  • Nobody’s getting it
  • Nobody’s talking
  • Students don’t seem to care

Teachers from language schools across Melbourne delivered 7-minute presentations, Pecha Kucha-styled, and shared how you can ‘MacGyver’ it in the classroom. Many teachers in attendance were seen to be taking down detailed notes during the session and the session ended on a high!

The presentations covered a range of topics – how to get students to talk to each other, how to use body and everyday objects to learn a language as well as using mobile phones in the classroom. Below is a summary of each of the 5 presentations and links to watch them.

Teachers who attended said they loved the format of the rotating speakers, as well as the great central location of the venue.

To view the full presentations, check out the Facebook post on meetELT. Find out more about meetELT on their website or listen to this short interview with some of the co-founders of the initiative.

MeetELT is sponsored by Pearson and Navitas, and run with the assistance of English Australia and volunteer teachers.