Professional Development for Teachers: More than Training Days


There are constant changes in the education and training world, for example changes to the government policies, regulatory requirements that relate to teaching positions, changes to the practices within your organisation or the subject that you teach, to name a few. As a result it is crucial that teachers keep up to date in order to be competent and benefit their career as well as their students and institutions they work for.

27 Pro Development for Teachers

Teachers have been considered dual professionals which means that apart from having expert subject knowledge and skills they need to have the ability to communicate these to others in an effective way. Therefore teachers cannot stand still and completing their teacher training courses marks the beginning of a much longer process that helps them become better teachers and trainers.

Continual professional development (CPD) is key.

Ranging from formal, informal, well-planned or more opportunistic CPD should impact your teaching practice, help you grow as a professional and an individual.
It is worth checking if your organisation has a strategy for CPD in which activities, considered valuable for improving standards, will be prioritised.

Perhaps some in-house training can be provided or time off could be arranged in order for you to participate in chosen external training events.
Schools offer some support by providing Inset days to enable teachers to train for new technologies, new ways of doing things within the school, attend due refresher courses etc.
As a training professional you will probably take part in an appraisal performance review system at your organisation. This offers a valuable chance to discuss your learning, development or any training and support you may need. It could also be an opportunity to reflect on your achievements so far and exchange ideas with your colleagues.
If you don’t have a formal teaching qualification yet, you may want to change that by enroling on an appropriate course. One way to do this is choosing Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training which, once completed, will enable you to apply for QTLS (Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills). This in turn will enhance your employment prospects because obtaining QTLS status means being formally recognised as a professional teacher or trainer. Although it is still up to the individual school or board of governors to make the decision to hire a person, having QTLS allows to teach both adults and children and currently is treated as the equivalent of QTS (Qualified Teacher Status).

So what counts as CPD apart from training?

CPD is really anything that helps you improve your teaching practice. Taking responsibility for your own growth shows that you are a committed professional and treat your role seriously.

Among opportunities for continual professional development (CPD) could be:

  • work experience placements
  • voluntary work
  • visiting other organisations
  • being a member of professional associations or committees
  • researching developments to the subject you teach
  • updating your knowledge regarding relevant legislation
  • shadowing and observing colleagues
  • evaluating feedback from peers and students
  • self-reflection
  • reading relevant literature
  • e-learning activities
  • improving your own skills in language, literacy, numeracy and ICT

It is important that you maintain records of CPD and reflect on how it has influenced your teaching role. You may find useful to link the ongoing development of your practice to the ways your students benefit from it as a result. Keeping records of your CPD will not only provide details of your competence within your job role, but it will for sure make your CV look better. It will also ensure that you are familiar with the latest trends in teaching and developments regarding your specialist subject which is in line with the expectations of most professional bodies.

Blogger : Gosia Borkowska – educator, teacher and assessor.

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