The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Andrew Hammond

Critical reflection at the heart of CPD

Guest blogger Andrew Hammond explains why personal development, motivation and empowerment need to be at the centre of any CPD programme.

The craft of teaching requires heart and mind, body and soul. CPD is often targeted at boosting our professional skills without considering the deep-down-things that drew us into the profession in the first place.

Fashionable phrases like ‘professional currency’ or ‘professional capital’ are financial terms, suggesting measurable, trackable skills; though such pedagogical skills are indeed valuable, these terms can suggest there is a deficit in our current practice, which can be bridged by a CPD course delivered by a more skilled expert.

Behind the trackable evidence shared in pupil progress meetings and performance reviews, lies the invisible, human impact of an empowered and reflective teacher

The impact of an empowered teacher

Whilst this may indeed be true sometimes, it is not just what you know that counts, it is what you can do with what you know, and that is inextricably linked to how you feel – whether you are eight or 48. Behind the trackable evidence shared in pupil progress meetings and performance reviews, lies the invisible, human impact of an empowered and reflective teacher, acting as model learner.

As educators we inspire, enthuse, motivate, engage, entertain and we care, deeply; we view the ‘whole child’. So the most impactful CPD must empower and rejuvenate the ‘whole teacher’.

The threat of diminishing agency

Too many colleagues are leaving the profession earlier than planned and this cannot be ignored. How many of those who leave within a couple of years of qualifying would cite ‘a lack of professional development’ as a contributing factor?

Perhaps many more would suggest it is a lack of personal development and a diminishing sense of agency in the role which ultimately leads disillusionment.

No teacher I’ve ever met has been afraid of hard work, but we need to know that our hard efforts are having an impact on the students whom we teach.

Reflective practice as a cornerstone

This is why reflective practice is such a fundamental cornerstone of effective CPD. The Pathway programme from NAHT and Discovery Education places critical reflection at its heart, giving teachers the tools they need to identify their motivations, gain insight into their wellbeing, and complete multiple online CPD courses, each one built around discussion, thought leadership and coaching questions for reflection.

It’s a fresh approach to continuous professional empowerment.

For more from Andrew on empowering personal development, watch his video interview with conference producer James Kerry. 

If you would like further information about the Pathway programme, please visit www.discoveryeducation.co.uk/Pathway

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