I’m constantly bad at getting started, something which has grown in my adult years, and isn’t a positive quality to grow. One of my bugbears is the lack of CPD and training opportunities in teaching. I do want to grow, and do well, but I find it a struggle to do on my own, and have at times succumbed to avoidance. With an ‘innate ability to communicate’ (a recent comment from my manager), I work better with other people. The shame is, is that other people are rarely around.
Yesterday, I read an article in The Guardian about CPD, and discusses some of the problems school teachers face. I think every teacher faces these problems in one way or another, and I think Ross Morrison McGill sums it up:
At a Spectator ‘Schools Revolution’ conference, Dylan Wiliam summed up the problem: “The standard model of teacher professional development is based on the idea that teachers lack important knowledge. For the last 20 years, most professional development has therefore been designed to address those deficits. The result has been teachers who are more knowledgeable, but no more effective in practice.”
The British Council have recently got more into the UK market, and at a recent Nexus event I attended, I saw their framework for CPD. It focuses more on English as a second language, but still the most useful thing I’ve seen surrounding CPD frameworks for teachers of adults.
I identify myself as at stage 3:
You are a practising qualified teacher of English with more than two years of experience, and still want to consolidate your essential skills.
They do suggest ways for you to develop whilst in this stage, including a selection of articles you can download, but that’s where the guidance ends. CPD is really open-ended. Too open-ended in my opinion. There’s no reason in my mind why someone should spend countless hours on something which hundreds have done before them. Sure, each one of us finds at least one student with unique differences for us to scramble to Google, hoping to find some answers, but on the whole, shouldn’t it be a bit better thought out than this?
My frustrations rise higher still when I think of the fact that I have staff, and I would desperately like to be in a position where I can offer them more, as I don’t want to be part of the continuing problem. Time drags me back to reality.
So, solutions? Well, for now, I’m working through the suggestions on The British Council’s Teaching English site, recorded below to see if I can find myself a path to work on that doesn’t seem endless or overwhelming.
I’ve highlighted bits in the document which I feel I need to look at.
Should get all that done in a week, right? My action plan for the most part only really makes sense to me (apart from on Monday mornings, and Fridays around 6 pm). It’s basically a list of things I need to do.
The following framework will form part of my CPD/action plan as I find by putting ‘How can I’ in front of many of the statements, I can use these as a basis to explore my skills and knowledge, and hopefully turn them into better practice, than just knowledge.
My ‘to do’ list is getting a bit random, so I’ve used LSIS’ Action Plan Template which can be found here.
Longer-term solutions? Well, I suppose like with pretty much everything in teaching, we’ll come back to the thought in a few months.
Morrison McGill, R. (2013). Professional development for teachers: how can we take it to the next level?. The Guardian (online). 30/01/2013. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/jan/29/professional-development-teacher-training-needs