Continuous Professional Development for Teachers

Next week I begin my next post-grad course at The University of Nottingham, I’m taking their relatively new PGCEi course.  It’s similar to the regular British PGCE (Post-Graduate Certificate of Education) only it’s mostly delivered via distance learning as is specifically designed for those of us working in international education. I have a week long face-to-face course next week followed by just under a year of distance learning.  I’m excited to begin the course because as a teacher I love to be able to challenge myself to improve in all areas of my practice, keep up to date with developments in both practice and theory and develop as a person too.  It’s also a subject that comes up a lot when I talk to other teachers, I think it’s a profession were many of us strive to find opportunities to develop and luckily we have many avenues open to us.  Most schools of course provide some form of CPD but today I’m going to talk a little more about things we can do independently.  This is not intended to be a comprehensive review of every CPD option (that would take far, far too long), however I’m hoping to talk about a few options I’ve used myself.  I’ve also not written about formal teaching qualifications and certificates as these require a lot of research and individual considerations based on your own circumstances.

So here’s a brief round up of a some options for pursuing your own professional development – good luck!

First place to start: MOOCs

In case you haven’t already delved into the world of the Massive Online Open Course I would strongly recommend you start there.  These course are a good introduction to one area (e.g. Blended Learning or Child Psychology), last a few weeks and are mostly free to access.  They can be a great taster for a longer course or a good way to study a broad range of topics. There are now so many places to search for these courses and different websites are better for different subject areas, as a starting point I’d recommend these two:

Cousera: https://www.coursera.org/

EdX https://www.edx.org/

Learning Difficulties and Gifted Students

Often when we work with a group with additional needs, such as children with learning difficulties or gifted students we find ourselves wanting to learn more to help these groups.  Although again there are many options I really like using the ICEPE’s courses which are tailored to specific areas and include some great resources:

ICEPE http://www.icepe.co.uk/

TED Talks

TED talks are a great learning resources, if you haven’t seen them before they are recordings of talks given at organised TED events on all sorts of topics.  Some of the leading educational theorists (e.g. Ken Robinson) have made hugely successful TED Talks all of which are free to view online:

TED Talks Education https://www.ted.com/topics/education

Reading

Okay, I know it seems really obvious but read.  All the best teachers I know have one thing in common – they read. Obviously that includes reading books by great teachers, educational theorists, researchers, etc. but it also means just reading for your own pleasure.  It’s amazing sometimes when you see the links between reading and success and emotional well being in so many areas of life. As an interesting starting point this is an interesting article on the importance, but also some of the challenges associated with teaching literacy http://www.city-journal.org/2014/24_1_literacy.html

Thanks for stopping by!

Emma

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