I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of early mornings. Even after fourteen-and-a-half years of training I remain, resolutely, a night owl, not an early bird. So it was with considerable surprise that I boarded the 07:29 train out of my half-an-hour-away-from-my-house local station in order to attend the Wellington Festival of Education, something I didn’t even know about until last year. Such is my enthusiasm for all things educational that, there I was, on my day off, no less, bleary eyed and with a book for homework with me, trundling through the early morning sunshine, worrying about whether I was going to be cold or not.
I wasn’t going to be going at all. Over a hundred of your Earth Pounds, plus the travelling expenses is not the kind of ticket this girl can easily afford, so when the lovely @Jack_Marwood, who was speaking at the event, offered me a free ticket I jumped at the chance, early morning be damned. I have a terrible admission to make, though. The driving factor behind my desire to go to such an event – on my day off – was not so much that I could engage with the ideas (although I did), grab myself some free CPD (which I did) or have a nose around the kind of school that simply does not exist in my reality, no, the reason I wanted to go was because I wanted to meet people. I wanted to meet, in the realness of reality, some of the many lovely teachers I have shared ideas with over the past year or so of my Twitter Addiction.
And meet them I did. In fact, I think I spent more time meeting people than I did anything else, from the garden of the Master’s House(my father was having kittens at the thought of me let loose in the abode of a contributor to Radio 4) to the sweaty train journey to London (thank you Martin for taking me under your wing, and Tait, for reassuring me that I was on the right platform; you did, indeed, spot a person with an irrational fear of missing trains, and who had spent most of the day in a state of nerves). Every single one of them was a pleasure to meet – I’m only sorry that there were some people I caught sight of, but didn’t manage to either embarrass or freak out with a hug, but there you are. Such is life. I had a blast.
Would I go again? In a heartbeat (especially if there is another free ticket and it either occurs at the weekend or on my day off).
Meet people off the internet? Only if they are teachers.
Creative and funny, diverse and erudite. And above all, putting other people first.
They are the best, the one and only reason to go.