07 Jul Making time for your Continuous Professional Development

“Let him who would move the world first move himself.” – Socrates

As teachers and trainers, it is very easy to count the years in terms of semesters or courses, in a wonderful, varied cycle of lesson planning, reviews and student faces coming and going; inward thinking, inward acting.

CPD, Continuous Professional Development, is something we have to make an effort to think about and, more importantly, act upon.

The key to any effective CPD plan is the will and the opportunity to look up and look outward. New ideas come from new inputs and seeking these out may mean time and effort, but to be able to be good teachers, we have to be good learners!

Here are 10 helpful tips to keep you motivated in continuous professional development:

“For the best return on your money, pour your purse into your head.” – Benjamin Franklin

1. Visit educational trade shows and talk to exhibitors about their products.

2. Observe your peers teaching.

3. Remember what it is to be a learner e.g. book an interior design course, learn a language or try a sailing course. Learning generates new ideas for teaching!

4. Ask your company what training is available or whether there are opportunities to sponsor you for external training.

5. Allocate an annual budget for your own resources and personal development and enjoy spending it.

6. Research and attend conferences or seminars for topics that specifically motivate you.

7. Go to the next level academically e.g. TESOL and CELTA certification, MA or Ph.D.

8. Decide whether you want to develop academically as a subject leader or administratively as the Head of English and identify what you would need to be able to take this next step up.

9. Ask for regular meetings with your manager to discuss your performance and development. Ask for feedback about your teaching and create an action plan for development

10. Actively seek mentoring roles. By helping and coaching others, you will have a clearer idea of your own development needs.

There is always a calendar of useful events in your area for educational and learning and development shows. These are worth their weight in gold as entry is often free to the actual exhibition. Visiting stands and talking to fellow professionals will free your creativity and provide avenues you may not have considered. Key note speaker events are often available at a fee and some events even offer free seminars. Do your homework well and you will be truly inspired by professionals; one day out of 365 is very achievable!

My own commitment was to ensure that I attended some of the excellent education and learning and development events available in the UAE and I am delighted to say I achieved this, meeting some really interesting educators.

Make your personal CPD a reality through teacher training or language courses.


About the Author: Sue B. is a CPD expert and has a proven record of excellent teaching skills for several years. She loves to find ways to learn more about her craft as a certified English instructor.

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