CPD – What do we want from it as teachers?
Professional development opportunities, as in courses run by outside agencies, have become fewer and fewer, as a result of ever-shrinking CPD budgets.
CPD has seemingly lost the spark it once had in promoting a profession in which developing as a teacher is an enjoyable experience with endless possibility.
Firstly, the one size fits all model doesn’t work. Some teachers are more competent than others are and, therefore, their areas of development are not the same and neither should their CPD be. Many schools are tailoring CPD to suit teachers and support staff at different stages of their career to ensure a more appropriate CPD programme. But is a CPD programme that is focused on ensuring people are competent at their job good enough?
No longer is CPD the opportunity for an individual to focus on an area of choice that they would like to develop because it motivates them and it will ultimately help improve practice, it is instead a measure – a success criteria – a body of evidence that is tied into school improvement.
CPD time needs to be reclaimed within schools to develop the areas in which teaching staff are most interested and which will then, naturally best support the students in our care.
Surely, opportunities to visit other schools, sharing good practice, listening and networking is the best way to enhance what we do? Ultimately, raising morale in a profession that is subject to constant change and criticism is of the utmost importance.
‘It is clear that an experienced teacher of many years will have very different development needs to someone just beginning their teaching career. Research suggests that CPD needs to be sustained and focused, and that teachers should focus on only a few aspects of their practice over a sustained period to bring about real change.’
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