The importance of CPD for teachers

Teaching is a demanding job – whether you’re up to your eyeballs in marking, attending twilight meetings or managing a team of staff, you are spinning so many plates it’s difficult to justify the time (or find the time!) for CPD sessions.

You deserve to access professional development opportunities. So next time you see a course you know will make a difference to your teaching and your pupils – and potentially your enjoyment of your job – remember these three things…

  1. In 2016, the Department for Education published a new Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development  in England, which states that professional development must be prioritised by school leadership. It goes on to explain that attending a one-off course once per year will not provide sufficient opportunity to grow and develop, and so teaching staff should attend multiple sessions or courses which fit together coherently to provide consistent support and development. These could be from multiple training providers, and could be external or in-house, 1-1 or in groups.
  2.  Asking to attend training or CPD sessions is not admitting weakness. Asking for support provides you with the tools to protect your wellbeing, and your skills, so that you don’t reach a burnout stage, or become overwhelmed. We can’t all be good at every aspect of our jobs and therefore it’s important that we can identify our strengths and weaknesses, and reflect on how working on things such as content knowledge or assessment technique can improve our confidence and ultimately our teaching (and enjoyment of teaching). It’s also true that if you are thinking about a particular training need, it’s likely somebody else in your school or team will be too – you won’t be alone.
  3. Workload and what is expected of them in their role can often put people off from attending CPD. But we find that CPD is not just for learning or developing new skills and methods, it is also empowering. As teaching unions often espouse;  the confidence and motivation gained from accessing CPD can help you build the confidence and experience to talk about “what you are expected to do (and not do), enabling you to focus your work on what really matters for students, and reducing unnecessary workload for yourself and your colleagues” (ATL.org.uk).
  4. Whether you are a new or more experienced teacher, you can always benefit from sharing experienced with others in your school and in the wider teaching community. CPD sessions provide opportunities to learn from each other, to discuss challenges and achievements in a safe space, and to foster collaboration. Plus it’s always good to break away from your day-to-day environment for a short time in order to give yourself the space to be inspired, motivated and empowered.

Why do you attend CPD? Tweet us at @APLiteracy.

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