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Help... I don't know where to start

Discussion in 'Professional development' started by kentteacher93, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. kentteacher93

    kentteacher93 New commenter

    Hey guys,

    I am fairly new to teaching and my mentor is encouraging me to develop my CPD by attending a few education events this year.

    Does anyone have any suggestions of which ones to look into?

    Thanks in advance
  2. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    You don't say whether you are working in primary or secondary. If the latter, consider starting your CPD by joining the subject association(s) for the subject(s) you teach. As a teacher of French, German and students with special educational needs, I became a member of the Association for Language Learning (ALL) and the National Association for Special Educational Needs (NASEN). Both these organisations run annual national conferences over several days and more frequent local day-long meetings with CPD opportunities as well as publish newsletters and academic journals to brief members about current issues.

    There are national education exhibitions and shows that are worth attending. I used to go each year to the BETT educational technology exhibition in London's Olympia. By so doing I could combine a glimpse of the latest computing developments, attend a talk or too and enjoy a trip for a day or two to the sights of the capital while I was there. There's an annual education exhibition in Birmingham as well.

    You might also look out for any local authority, professional association (trade union) or university teaching-related courses that stimulate your interest. Such courses can lead to a academic qualification if you are prepared to go back to part-time studying for a year or more. Don't count on a Master's opening doors to immediate promotion, though, just see it as training for the brain muscles and something to include in your CPD portfolio. Some private organisations run one-day courses for teachers in different parts of the country that are also worth a try.

    Finally, one way of contributing to your CPD is to share your knowledge and experience with others. When I began teaching in the early 1970s, I embarked on an MA in my subject, followed up with an MEd in a field of education. Then I was encouraged by my sibling to present at international conferences on the use of technology to teach MFL learners with SEN, which was a strong interest of mine. I found it easy to get my abstract accepted at computer-assisted language learning conferences in Canada and Japan because most would-be presenters worked in the higher education sector and the organisers were keen to recruit speakers from primary and secondary institutions. I found the experience of addressing adults on educational matters transformational and confidence-building and I went on to write articles and book chapters on my favourite areas of educational research and practice. Being able to speak to a large adult audience even helped me get through my retirement speech at school without succumbing to the emotion of it all!

    So just sit down and determine what your interests and priorities are when it comes to developing your skills and knowledge as a teacher and educator. Start small by attending a day-long event in your locality before moving on to something more elaborate. If you attend an event that turns out to be a waste of your time, use the experience to reflect what could have been done instead to make everything more worthwhile.
  3. kentteacher93

    kentteacher93 New commenter

    Thank you for your response Dodros, there is a lot of helpful information there and a lot of things to consider.

    Out of interest, why did you stop attending the BETT exhibition?

    Many thanks
    Dodros likes this.
  4. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    I think I stopped going in the mid-noughties around the time when I realised that some of the exhibitors were showing more of an interest in tinkering with, and talking into, their mobiles than they were in the visitors touring the show. :( I also thought as the years went by that the balance between the educational and the digital at the exhibition was shifting too much towards the "wow" factor of technology and too much away from teachers teaching and learners learning. Travelling from the North East to London was also tiring and increasingly expensive when I decided to be good to myself for once and that an overnight stay was necessary to reduce fatigue.

    I retired during the late-noughties and other priorities then came to the fore, so I haven't been back. Maybe I will return one day because there was always one thing at the show that excited me, usually a classroom practitioner's home-made presentation about working with learners in difficulty rather the slick sales pitch of a company rep.
  5. RegionalEducationShows

    RegionalEducationShows New commenter

    There are a number of events to consider around the country. Big ones being Bett and Education Show.

    There are also smaller regional events to consider. Notably, The Education & Academies Shows. I believe the Southern Education & Academies Show will be at the end of June.
  6. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    @kentteacher93 We need to know whether you are primary or secondary and what your subject specialism is in order to advise you.
  7. kentteacher93

    kentteacher93 New commenter

    Thank you for your recommendation @RegionalEducationShows, I have looked into these events and they all look very educational and worthwhile, I have now registered to attend!

    @ViolaClef I am a primary school English teacher.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    When you say 'fairly new' and that you have a 'mentor' then I'm assuming NQT.
    If so your LA should be providing courses, ask the NQT advisor for details.

    Other than that, think what areas you want to develop and look for events in that area.
  9. rolls

    rolls Occasional commenter

    If you are a member of the NUT they provide some very worthwhile training with some courses aimed particularly at new teachers. Have a look at their website.
  10. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Likewise ATL.

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