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Introducing CPD

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) will ensure your learning and development continues throughout your career.

Consider the human side of CPD

As well as gaining CPD from courses and textbooks, it can also be gained through talking to colleagues. You can observe classes, talk about situations that have arisen in your own observations or discuss ideas or concerns. The same pupils have either been taught by them, or known to them, so the help comes from a shared experience.

Vary your learning methods

Teaching strategies are always changing, procedures for assessment developing. Not all CPD is course-driven and much is in papers, books and online (such as this website!). News of educational change and ideas are valuable to you, so don't stop reading articles and research or listening to the arguments for change. Be part of the change and don't just implement it when it arrives in a workpack to your door.

Adapt to your environment

Colleagues can point you to good resources, websites and strategies that work in your environment. They can ensure their CPD has built-in support as well evaluation mechanisms to allow you to think about the issues and the reasons behind failure and success. Professional development is part and parcel of having colleagues working with you. Learn from their experience and match it with your own skills.

Balance what you need with what you want

CPD comes in categories that allow you to balance what you need with what you want. What's good for you and your pupils? What do you need to know? You've come in with skills: do you want to fine tune them or learn new ones? Continue to learn the new skills that you need and get better at what you already know.

Stop and think about problems

Mistakes happen. Lessons that seem perfect on paper can hit hurdles in class. You need to get to grips with your portfolio early on. Get used to reflection, thinking out a lesson or a strategy and then evaluating it. Stop and think or you will repeat mistakes. Step back and retrace your thinking, talking to your colleagues or supporter about it. This is a real chance to professionally develop your skills.

Concentrate on core skills

Training and school placements only prepare you so much for the range of pupil needs within a classroom. CPD will take you to further stages of understanding. In your first few years of teaching you'll have a great deal to learn and cope with: additional needs, leadership, enterprise, assessment strategies, time management â€“ the list is endless. Think about core skills you will need and look to enhance these once you feel more comfortable with your job.