This tweet is a really interesting question posed by an experienced and respected headteacher. We’ve had a good think and talked to teachers and schools we know well. The result is six ideas for those teachers who have time to work on CPD… We’re well aware that many of you are fully focused on other commitments and this won’t be appropriate!
1. CPD for the time you’re not in the classroom
A number of schools are using time away from school to encourage staff to look at areas that aren’t directly related to classroom practice. Examples would include statutory safeguarding training, improving general IT skills, or management courses for those new to senior roles. There’s a lot huge range of opportunities for teachers – check if your school has signed up for services such as Optimus Education or The Key for resources tailored to school needs. It’s worth pointing out that a number of the Teachers Standards for England look at non-class activities such as using data and communicating with parents.
2. Subject knowledge development
Understanding the latest ideas in your subject will probably make you a better teacher. Working remotely might give you time to refresh your understanding, learn new things or investigate an area close to something you are a real expert in, such as a different period of History or genre of writing in English. You could do this by connecting with a subject association such as the Association for Science Education or even using tools your school has bought for students such as Your Favourite Teacher.
A common complaint from many teachers is that many of the latest ideas in teaching are discussed in Saturday conferences, which can be difficult to attend. However, during the lockdown period, some of the more interesting and engaging are going online. A good place to start is ResearchED Home which is offering a daily dose of teaching wisdom with webinars from the likes of Dylan William and Paul Kirschner.
We wrote about reflection in a time of online learning in our last blog, which linked back to our ongoing series of suggestions for embedding reflection into teaching. Take time to understand why you are teaching the way you do, and whether it is working.
5. Wider Research
If the lockdown time is longer than expected (and Italy has just announced that there will be no teaching until September) it might be a good chance to get started on a research degree that will drive your career forward in future. There are a wide range of online Masters and PhD courses in Teaching – in specialist areas from Early Years to International Education and Globalisation. Find out more at UCAS – just choose Postgraduate from the drop-down menu.
6. Something not related to teaching at all!
Our most radical suggestion is to pick something you’re interested in that isn’t related to teaching at all. This article suggests wide range of benefits from any type of learning that will help in any job, as well as helping keep you healthy. Future Learn offers hundreds of free
online courses to try out from universities, while Udemy offers more practical courses in a huge range of areas.
We hope you liked these ideas and can use them to help in your development. We’d love to hear what you have to say on the topic – share your experience and tips with the teaching community on Twitter and LinkedIn.