So, you are ready to organize a Teacher Playdate? That’s fantastic! It’s so much fun, and it’s easier than you’d think. There are a few important things to remember…
You’ll need a date. It’s in the title, right? But seriously, you’ll wanna give yourself somewhere between 3-5 weeks lead time before your Play Date. You want to make sure you have enough time to publicize your event. If you don’t, you jeopardize Number 3.
You need a location, and it should be a fun one. Because here’s the thing - your Play Date should be fun. Yes, the key part of things is that each attendee brings their own awesome thing, practice, lesson, or idea to share, but after about an hour or two, you’re all gonna be wondering if that’s all there is. No! Our first Teacher Play Date was held at the Crayola Experience. Picture twenty teachers running around, making crayons, taking funny pictures, and laughing. It was pretty great. Find somewhere fun and local that you and your new best friends can run around and have a good time. You’ll need to talk to the proprietors and secure a space for an hour or two. Having a tough time coming up with ideas? Children’s museums, a conference room in a theme park, restaurant with a private room in a fun neighborhood?
Set up your EventBrite. Make a logo for your local Teacher Play Date, set up a hashtag (check it out on Twitter first to make sure it hasn’t been taken!), and share the HECK out of your sign-up.
Invite, invite, invite! Get on Twitter, send invitations out to local schools, put it on Facebook, and ask friends to share with their friends and beyond. A wide pool of people is key here. If you’re only hanging out with people you’ve already met, you’re not growing! When you bring teachers together from a wide pool of talent, you will learn, grow, and build your PLN. New friends are a good thing! Also, get a LOT of people signed up. Typically, you’ll get about half of the people who sign up, don’t be discouraged, this is normal.
As you get closer to the event, don’t forget to email your attendees. Will they need money for dinner? Will you be eating beforehand? During? After? Where is the best place to park? Remind them to bring something cool to share. This is an idea and fun sharing experience, and if half of your attendees don’t bring anything to share, it’s not gonna be that fun.
On the day of, show up ready to have a good time! Make sure that you have a decent area to play, but other than that, just introduce yourself, pass out nametags, and invite everyone to have a good time. After an hour or so, wrap up, and head out to have a good time together. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures, and make sure to tweet them out with your hashtag!
When it’s all over, head out for an afterparty with the people who don’t have to get back and pay the babysitter. Pick somewhere fun to hang out for drinks and apps! Tell stories, laugh, and enjoy each other. You’ve got yourself a squad now.
Afterward, send your attendees a survey to help you know what worked, and what they would like to see if you did this again.
Now, we would love to help! Have questions as you’re putting your event together? Let us know! Want us to come? We want to be there, let’s see if it could work… And of course, we would love to see your event feedback. More than anything, Teacher Play Date is about bringing teachers together for fun and sharing. We have such a crucial job, and the pressure on us can be very high, which is why taking time out for a good time with other teachers is so important!