I have always been interested in CPD for teachers – I find it ironic that as teachers we may not focus on our own learning as effectively as possible.
My PGCE started with much self reflection, it was the times of the learning journal (do they still exist?) and, though the idea was sound, the thought of reflecting at the end of a long day after hours planning (remember when one lesson took 3 hours to plan…bloody PPT and its temptation to use slide transactions and custom animations!) was enough to send me over the edge. I didn’t appreciate it…but I do now.
The blog has definitely helped me and I suppose this is the learning journal of the new age of teachers, instead of a lever arch file full of paper I now have a newly started blog and 874 tweets!
But how does this equate to in house CPD usage and making it effective for all? I have often stuck my noes into this with SLT and have presented my idea…and it seems to go down well…
CPD has to be personal, whole school, teacher lead, school lead and pupil lead. It has to be everything. Well your lessons do now days…why not your learning. We have to take our own advise and allow CPD to be access by all level of learners and not just one dimensional. So below is the proposal I made to SLT…maybe you could do the same? Maybe it could work for you…
The aim of the proposal is to add to the current robust CPD program at (insert school name here) mainly to avoid loss of skills passed on in CPD when staff moves on. A secondary benefit will be that it will also enable staff to have more autonomy regarding their CPD agenda allowing alleviate of time constrained CPD and thus increasing moral.
- To stop loss of CPD knowledge when staff move schools.
- To stop the repetitive nature of the CPD program.
- Staff can access when relevant as opposed to waiting for the relevant CPD to come up in the calendar.
- To allow staff to condense their sessions but increase time implementing.
- By product to increase staff moral and giving them time to individualize CPD.
- Create a condensed online CPD training program alongside the current one. Example (quickly done, not greatest one ever!) https://youtu.be/oyMM-bE9qAw
- Create areas online for reflection. (Shared area rather than internet).
- Allow for staff to access in their own time as opposed to the Thursday evening sessions.
The idea proposed is that CPD have an extra layer where resources and sessions are made available in a shared area where staff can access as and when they feel they need or want to view them. Staff who are skilled in an area create 10 minute videos or PPTs on certain aspects and areas, this will be rewarded in gained CPD time.
This will allow for a lower amount of time “learning” different skills by those doing CPD and more time implementing thus allowing for a higher moral of staff and more time to engage the learners in the new skills.
It also allows for staff turnover not to effect CPD sessions and also for less repeating of sessions as people who make the sessions would have to think of other skills rather than repeating the same sessions.
Furthermore, it allows for people to be directed to certain areas as certain skills are needed and therefore can be tailored to individual needs as opposed to waiting for it to arise in the CPD calendar.
The idea is meant to be used with other kinds of CPD – still have group CPD for all staff, it’s good for morale and sharing ideas. Still have it with pupils running it…sometimes they know more about things (social media etc) – what an amazing skill that they could teach us! Also think about CPD outside the box…I do my best thinking while running – give me time to do this and prove I reflected…plus you’ll have a healthier teacher too!
How about also doing mini research projects with staff too?! This was not my idea but actually came from a past school. If one person can lead the session with an idea and 5 others aid they can get CPD hours and pass on their findings (something like How are boys performing in the school and how can we improve this?), the research and write up, like a mini research paper with real classroom evidence and data.
So go forth and learn…I never liked the idea of do as I say not as I do…much prefer the if it works for them it could work for us too!