This was the week for my annual review. Way back, when I had more hair, I used to anticipate the meeting. What if my own view of my work was poorer than my PTs view? What about the (now annual) question about why I am not going for a PT post? Why not interested in guidance as a career? So many questions, so many discussions.
Then there is that bit when I have to hand in my CPD hours. My “time sheet” for professional development. Did I make the magic 35 hours?
The answer to that is “yes!” Indeed, I think I made it to 35 hours by about end of October.
Accurate and easy hours can be calculated by adding up the hours for each CPD event one attends. Probably add one hour for prep time per course and then grab a calculator (metaphorically, before you think I am that bad at my sums!)
The problem with attending courses comes with time. When I first started, I went to the courses. The one on parents’ evenings, the one on marking higher, the one on teacher AH, the one on Blooms’ Taxonomy, the one on Emotional Intelligence. You get the picture.
Five years down the line, I struggled to find the courses I had not been to. I got sent to a nice posh one in a posh hotel (£450 the council will never see again) and the following year I went to the same hotel and it was ICT and a free pen drive (£450 – a 1Gb pen drive = £449.50 +/-) which I did leave with my now former employers before I start a crisis in perks of the job. These course only gave me one hour CPD each, though, as they only ran during school days and finished at 5pm.
How do we actually make up these hours? A (literally) three minute chat at the kettle about dyscalculia gave me a glorious three hours getting my brain under the bonnet of the condition. Also, in between waxing my bald patches, I have run a few CPD sessions (Higher Order Thinking, ICT, L+T) at school and region. These don’t fire up my brain as much. If I spent the rest of my career iterating my current knowledge base to a finely honed point, I would be both bored and frustrated by the end of year, never mind the end of my career.
My excitement, my fired up brain and my (mostly) content teaching is largely thanks to Pedagoo. At today’s PedagooAdmin meeting, we all agreed many of you read pedagoo posts but don’t comment. That is not a problem, if all 1650 of us talked at once, it would be very noisy in this joint. People are welcome to talk if they want, they are welcome to listen. But we ALL learn.
I could mention literacy in the form of the One Minute Writing, I could mention how my active learning was shaped by a post I had read about an Egyptian project. I could say how my twitter post was expanded thanks to feedback from readers across the UK and it even had a part in giving Gareth a chance to run his on feeds from his school in his region. I saw even pleased to see a HOTs resource on Blooms’ Taxonomy reach across to Australia and down to London. It is the feedback that comes with the posts that I found helped me focus my future thinking and helped my evaluation process.
All in all, I counted a little over twenty hours learning through Pedagoo and that is excluding my PedagooAdmin work. I didn’t put a total down in the column, I didn’t need to. The figures, as they say, spoke for themselves.
Pedagoo is an organisation by teachers and for teachers. It costs the taxpayers nothing and it gives the tax payers lots. I even paid for my own coffee today, there was not so much as a free pen drive! We will only move forward as a body of teachers if we work together and share ideas. We must be prepared to reflect on what works and what doesn’t. We can make mistakes if we reflect and learn! We have to share ideas or we will take longer to improve.
If you made use of pedagoo either directly or otherwise please retweet this post, even reply (or by commenting below) with an idea of how it has played a part in your CPD?
CPD for educators by educators is the way forward. CPD has become a way of being rather than something that is done to you, or something you are sent to.
Social media provides CPD opportunities from across the globe but most of these are based on sharing, discussing and debating. And from the comfort of being wherever you are!!
Enjoyed your post. 21st century CPD will be in this form and it’s this approach that will change education internationally.
Great post Eddie, I agree wholeheartedly. I had my PRD chat this week, during which I spoke at length about Twitter, TeachMeets, Pedagoo and the Institute of Physics – the source of virtually all the CPD I’ve been involved in this year.
I too have been on lots of courses, but I can’t remember the last formal CPD event I was involved in that had as much impact on my teaching as many of the tweets, blog posts and other informal CPD I’ve enjoyed this year.
I can’t imagine how I would be able to do my job as well if I weren’t involved in these types of sharing, though I still meet plenty of people who see CPD as something that happens to them that somehow needs to be ‘used up’ over the course of the year.
All too often CPD “opportunities” are promoted in terms of the number of hours that can be counted against CPD.
Amanda hit the nail on the head in her comment – CPD like this is most definitely the way forward and it is already beginning to change education.
Great post. How I wish all teachers would just get the fact that CPD isn’t something that they wait to happen to them. It’s a joy when another teacher in my school seeks me out to share something THEY have learned themselves, sadly this happens all too rarely, especially with young teachers.
I tell teachers about twitter and how that opens up so many doors to learning but still get, on the whole, a sneered reaction, or people say they are too busy for that kind of thing.
Anyway – well done you, keep up the good work and keep up your enthusiasm.
One of the joys I have experienced being out of the classroom for a wee while is that I have been given the opportunity to share in some wonderful learning experiences in other’s classrooms. Our “craft” is teaching and to be able to share this with others, the highs &the lows, can only be beneficial to both your own personal expereince and to that of the person you are sharing with. Double “whammy”!
I do so much prefer the term CPPD i.e. continued personal professional development. The joy of sites like pedagoo is that it allows us to convey/share the personal of our teaching practice for the enhancement of professional development of others. I also think it is the most expensive of CPD as to be involved you give of the most precious of items, TIME.
Just add to all of this above the time you spend thinking in bed, the bath, the car, the train, the bus, while sunbathing (can happen sometimes!) and so on. For anyone committed to their work, measuring professional development in terms of hours is a joke. Bet also, pedagoo stimulates more thinking that impacts on what you actually do than much CPD. Five minutes quality thinking may be more productive than sixty minutes listening. Of course, sometimes we do hear something through listening to someone, so we don’t want to belittle all CPD delivered by someone who is not a professional in the same field as us. Again, the problem is assuming that what you need can be decided through a review, in advance of the problems that you have to deal with through the year. Just trust the professionals to judge what they need and when.
Of course, they will say that not all can be so trusted, but that is not the problem of those who can, so why add to their burden with silly formalities?
On a slightly different tack.
As I follow what goes on, I do worry more that people might be doing too much, rather than too little. Some of you never seem to stop thinking about education if your contributions to Twitter are any indicator. I am impressed by the dedication but where do you all find the time? Anyway, 35 hours gets nowhere near and it is time that those who think up these systems (that might include the unions) woke up to the realities and stop thinking in terms of top-down impositions.
Really enjoyed stumbling across this site and in particular this thread. As a primary teacher (qualified 2008 and working in 3rd sector since 2009) who is desperately trying to get back into building up some supply work in local authorities; reading about pertinent issues and hearing how things are shaping up for you all goes a long way to encouraging me that this is definitely the jigsaw peice I have been missing from my career. It certainly feels good to be thinking about school, learning and all things teaching again. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!