Enhancing Your Teaching Career Through Continual Professional Development

A big thank you to those who joined us on Wednesday 1st June for our latest Twitter Chat, ‘Enhancing Your Teaching Career Through Continual Professional Development’. We had our panel of experts below involved in the conversation who gave excellent advice and top tips!  

For those that missed the chat, the full conversation can be found on Twitter by searching #KTChat

Here is a summary of the session: 

Question 1:

• Kent CPD Online is an excellent resource for teacher training opportunities and more information can be accessed here. They offer CPD workshops, twilight sessions, courses and conferences throughout the year for all teachers and senior leaders who work with and for children and young people in schools.

• There is also a newly published School Improvement CPD Programme for 2016/17 which comprises of a number of new courses in a variety of subjects including Maths, English, PE, Assessment, Leadership, NQTS, AEN, Early Years and the list goes on! Visit here to view the new course.    

• Local Teaching Alliances also provide good courses for professional development. There are a range of alliances in Kent such as: East Kent Learning Alliance, Medway Teaching School Alliance, Mid Kent Learning Alliance and Ashford Teaching Alliance – these are some of many!

Question 2:

• It’s beneficial to discuss opportunities with your Headteacher so they understand your development needs and lead you in the right direction. This shows your ambition, initiative, and passion which will leave a lasting impression with your Headteacher as it reflects you care about the school, your development and that you are in it for the long haul.

• Joe’s school offers a free monthly 1 hour after school training session for continuing professional development. If you are in the Thanet area and wish to know more and to arrange to join them, you can contact Joe via Twitter, @jw_teach.  

Question 3: 

• For Newly Qualified Teachers, you should make the most of the 10% reduced timetable available to you in your first year teaching as this is valuable time that can be spent on your professional development; you won’t get this additional time after your NQT year so make it count.  

• Many schools encourage and support staff’s continual professional development. Ensure you address your development needs with your Headteacher or mentor to move forward with relevant training exercises. Take time to consider your career path and talk to your line manager. 

Question 4:

Many schools have a well-established NQT programme and a number of sessions are in place to cater for NQTs to develop as a teacher. However, there are additional activities available to you:

• Observing other teachers is key to developing your teaching practice. Ask colleagues and even teachers from other schools; the more observations the better as you’ll see a variety of lessons where you’ll learn new methods and techniques.

• Take on board everyone’s feedback. Constructive criticism is useful and can be applied to improve your performance. 

• Be reflective of your teaching practice by taking 2 minutes at the end of each lesson to make notes on the good and challenging points as well as ideas to improve for next time. 

• Always seek help if you are unsure and speak with colleagues for their advice as well as contacting colleagues at other schools; they will want to help and support you. 

• It would be beneficial to limit the time you spend on perfecting resources for your lessons, such as images or quotes. Time is better spent on more meaningful activities that will have a more positive effect on the children’s learning; these activities may help you be best prepared so children learn in a way that suits their particular style.

Question 5:

• Kent-Teach is a brilliant way to network with other teachers; we have a forum for users to ask questions and open up a discussion on a topic. We also have a blog  (what you are reading now!) where schools and education experts share their experiences and knowledge, you can also find wellbeing topicstechnology tips and other pointers to support your teaching career. 

• Ted Talks was another medium suggested and is an organisation devoted to spreading ideas in the form of short powerful talks. These talks cover almost every topic and are short, inspiring and useful both to push you forward in your career but to share with your students. If you view an informative Ted Talk, the great thing is you can share it with others through social media. Here are our 10 favourite Ted Talks all educators should watch

Question 6:

• Social media in general, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc (the list goes on!) is an excellent way to connect with like-minded professionals and share information and ideas. Each social media channel is unique and effective in communicating with teachers. Get in touch with some of our experts, their Twitter handles are at the top of this post!

• Twitter is a brilliant tool to share ideas and information. It’s an effective medium as it is quick and easy to post tweets and invites a swift response from other Twitter users. You can also include effective hashtags within your tweets. Hashtags are words or phrases preceded by a hash sign (#) to identify messages on a specific topic. These are useful on Twitter as they become part of a conversation thread with other users tweeting similar conversations with the same hashtag, encouraging communication on particular topics. 

• Facebook is another useful social media channel for sharing ideas and networking with teachers. Facebook allows users to join a number of different education related groups to communicate with likeminded people. 

• The NQT Help Facebook group, which has over 3000 Facebook users, is home to a wealth of visual literacy ideas and teaching tips for users to learn from as well as share their own ideas. 

• Pinterest is a visual channel, all posts are images! It allows ideas to be saved for later so you have a collection of resources in one place; it is also good for sharing with other Pinterest enthusiasts and viewing other user’s ‘Pinterest boards’. Take a look at our helpful collection of pins on our Pinterest page. Joe also uses Pinterest and you can view his collection of resources here

Question 7:

• Unfortunately negativity does encroach on conversations at one time or another as people like to share their opinions whether they are positive or negative. One of our participants rightly shared with us that if you do choose to respond to negative posts then do so in a professional way. 

• Depending on your privacy settings for each channel, many people will be able to view your conversations. Request to deal with the matter privately by taking their contact details or send a private message. 

• The following articles are helpful if you are concerned about your social media privacy settings for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp:

Question 8:

• Ensure you have a sufficient understanding of what the role entails. It is hugely beneficial to observe/work shadow colleagues in the role you are interested in; this will help you decide if you really want to move up and whether you are suited to the role. Speak to your Headteacher to devise a career plan as this will show your passion to teach well and show your dedication to the school

That concludes the summary on Enhancing Your Teaching Career Through Continual Professional Development. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the team on kent.teach@cantium.solutions or 03000 410203

Stay tuned for our next Twitter Chat in the coming months! You may be interested to read our previous Twitter Chats:

How To Secure That Teaching Job #KTChat

What makes an outstanding teacher? #KTChat 

And, don’t forgot to subscribe to the Kent-Teach Blog so you don’t miss out on top resources!

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