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

Elizabeth Holmes

Happy New Year! 15 CPD resolutions for teachers

'I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s.' - Henry Moore

So, a new calendar year is almost upon us and although we are only a third of the way through the academic year, it still feels like a time to reflect on how things are going – focusing on what we may change for the better to support our future professional learning.

If you’re lucky you will already have had access to some great CPD but if not, you may want to consider what your next steps for learning may be as we welcome in a new year. These ideas may help:

15 for '15

  1. Your wellbeing is everything. Without it, each aspect of your life can suffer. Give it priority and watch how much easier life can become.
  2. Give yourself lean weeks. Most of us have the habit of reading certain blogs or skimming through Twitter feeds or other sources of education opinion but in crowded weeks this can just add to the background noise that prevents us from focusing. Save those interactions for when you’re not so pressed for time. Little will change in the meantime!
  3. Are you clear about where you’re going with your professional learning in 2015? If not, refocus and plot a course that serves your professional interests as well as possible.
  4. Find allies. Seek out colleagues in your school and via social media that can support your goals and add positively to your professional learning. What professional learning communities can you access?
  5. Aim to identify one or two actions which support your professional learning most effectively at this time.
  6. Seek out links with your local higher education institution, especially if they are offering professional learning opportunities.
  7. Identify recent research that is relevant to your context and analyse it with colleagues if possible. What can usefully inform your work in the classroom?
  8. Know who can support you in your development at school and seek them out; engage in professional dialogue whenever possible.
  9. Offer your knowledge and expertise in support of the professional learning of colleagues.
  10. Reflect, reflect, reflect. Record your reflections in whichever way suits you. It’s useful to review them periodically too.
  11. Consider the impact of your professional learning. Your school may have strategies for helping teachers to do this. What has changed in your practice? How have the knowledge and skills acquired impacted the work of your students? These are just basic starting points for impact evaluation.
  12. Observations work really well in some schools as a tool for development. Consider how this might work for you if you don’t currently get the chance to observe colleagues in action.
  13. If you don’t already belong to one, explore whether there is a subject association that can support your work. These can be great sources of professional learning and the latest research in your field.
  14. Change one thing. Grand gestures and dramatic transformations may appeal, but just subtle shifts in your practice can bring about positive impacts for your learners. What is the single aspect of your work you might usefully transform in the coming term? Do that, if at all possible.
  15. Plot a course. Where do you want to be in 2016? What steps are you currently taking to get there?

Further reading

You will need to log in to access the pieces below but if your school or setting does not have a membership then simply take out a free trial to read for free. Top tips for the new year Learning from last year CPD for a great New Year

 

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