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The gift of CPD

Jill Prentice insists that CPD is a gift for probationer teachers.

Primary Teacher, Merrylee Primary School, Glasgow

CPD is an integral aspect of the probation year. With 0.7 class contact time and 0.3 being given to CPD, this is probably the only time in your teaching career where you'll be presented with such a valuable gift.

Finding CPD experiences

My council frequently has CPD days for us to participate in, ranging from Teaching for Effective Learning (TFEL) strategies to Pastoral Care issues. I'm about to attend a day focusing on Enterprise in Education and I'm hoping to learn from other teachers' success stories and be pointed towards some valuable strategies, resources and literature.

The council also runs "twilight" courses. Even though these run from 4–6pm and are in the centre of town, they really have been extremely valuable to me and are intended for those eager to learn more and extend their teaching knowledge.

I only wish I had the time to research more and implement all of the strategies, resources, concepts and contexts we are told about in my class.

My feeling is that even if you take only one thing from each CPD activity you attend or undertake and have a go at implementing it, then you are successfully trying to improve and develop your own personal teaching practice.

Other routes available

As well as council CPD days and twilights, it's important to find other routes to develop your teaching knowledge and practice. I recently attended a Tapestry event entitled 'The Creative Classroom Masterclass', delivered by a variety of Professors in the teaching profession.

Their passion and excitement is infectious, and I will certainly try to develop even one of their ideas in the hope of fostering and nurturing creativity in all the pupils in my class.

Keeping in touch with probationers in other schools is also important. In August I volunteered for a group in my council which focuses on A Curriculum for Excellence (ACE). We've just published our first bulletin which discusses current issues and development of ACE.

Not only had this been great for my own understanding of how ACE impacts on my teaching but it has enabled me to build relationships with other probationers (both Primary and Secondary).

Inspiring

As Easter approaches I am anxious to use my 0.3 as effectively as possible. Being in a school where every teacher has many different talents and teaching styles, I feel it's important for me to seize this opportunity and observe all the different examples of good teaching practice.

CPD has increased my confidence and helped me develop my teaching style. Without observing other successful professionals, attending courses, or talking to other teachers I certainly would not be the teacher I am today!

I truly have been inspired, engaged and motivated by CPD to become a Teacher for Excellence.