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Your CPD is no longer valuable

07 Nov 2019

“I’m still learning” was the famous quote of Michaelangelo aged 88. This attitude sums up why teachers do CPD - we are never done learning and we never stop growing, which is exactly the same as we teach our pupils.

When I started to develop OneStep CPD, myself and our research team spoke to lots of teachers about what their motivation with CPD is, and why they do CPD. 

We found (worryingly) that 60% of teachers did not trust their whole school CPD provision to develop them as teachers. This is only part of a much wider trend where teachers are leaving - or planning to leave - in droves, leading Alison Peacock (Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching) to argue that current CPD is not supporting new teachers’ needs or setting a good culture in schools.

Bottom line? CPD provision in education is not good enough. Even worse, it’s no longer valuable, which Peacock also says “is more damaging than no CPD at all”.

OneStep CPD was built to provide CPD for teachers in the 21st century, and it was developed by talking to teachers, hearing their experiences, and offering a bespoke solution. Here are the opinions of three teachers we spoke to in the course of our research*.

(*Names changed)

 

Zoe, Primary Teacher from Sheffield (2 years of teaching experience)

“I think CPD is something that should help you become a better teacher and have an impact on your teaching but not be an onerous task.”

Bottom line - what do I want from CPD?

“I would like CPD to be time-effective and relevant. It should be focused on ways to improve my teaching that are practical and applicable, rather than suggestions for things I could be in an ideal world that involve creating hours’ worth of resources and differentiating 17 different ways.”

How could OneStep CPD help Zoe?

  • Short, actionable strategies that you put into place on a regular basis
  • Test what has an impact on your class. If it’s positive, keep going and add it to your teaching arsenal. If it doesn’t have any impact or negative impact, you know not to use that strategy in your context.
  • The vast majority of our process takes place during class time so it is time-efficient.

 

Alex, Secondary Teacher from Stockport (8 years of teaching experience)

“Currently, I only write about my CPD when I it is time to fill in the appraisal documents. I want personalised CPD to help me with my weaknesses, I want my CPD to not add to my workload but has a positive effect on my students. I want to feel as if the school are investing in me and even in the current financial climate will spend money if it will benefit their staff. I want CPD that I feel directly impacts my classroom teaching. I think it shouldn’t be time-consuming as it can add extra work if it is.”

Bottom line - what do I want from CPD?

“To be challenged and stretched. To help develop and keep the students engaged and learning.”

How could OneStep CPD help Alex?

  • With 150 strategies, Alex could implement anything into his classroom from effective feedback to questioning to methods of creating a routine to metacognition. This also obviously answers his point about impact.
  • We are cost-effective. On average one external course costs a school £550. A school could buy a 6 teacher subscription to our site for a year for £540. At 6 initiatives per teacher, that’s 36 impact evaluations of strategies vs. one external course.

 

Michael, Primary Teacher from York (15 years of teaching experience)

“I want to know and keep on top of what is worthwhile and what isn’t, what works in my context, marginal gains (tweaks to get big results), see good examples from other schools. I’ve been in teaching for a while and I want to be re-enthused and re-energised. It’s important to be pointed in the right direction and given the freedom to develop what I think is important.” 

Bottom line - what do I want from CPD?

“Honestly I don’t know - having taught for so long it is easy to be stuck in the same old way of doing things.”

How could OneStep CPD help Michael?

  • Our whole process has been built around finding out what works for you in your own classroom.
  • A lot of our strategies focus on making marginal gains, such as through mixing up your questioning, the way you start your lessons, or even the way you write your objectives.
  • Michael wanted to develop on what he prioritised. If we don’t have a strategy you want, tell us the area you’re looking to develop in and we will write at least one strategy for you within 5 working days.
  • At the end of 6 weeks, you don’t just get a certificate; you get evidence and proof of the work you have done. This provides you with a boost that you are doing the right thing.
  • We challenge people to get out of the old ways of doing things by giving you the opportunity to test what you’ve always done or try out something you’ve never thought of doing before.

 

So if you are like these teachers and aren’t getting anything from your CPD, do something different. Why not see how OneStep CPD could help you develop? Sign up today to test one of our free strategies for yourself.


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OneStep CPD champions authors, teachers and pedagogists through our strategies, allowing everyone to test ideas and adopt what works. Our blog does the same, providing a platform for anyone with an interest in education to share good practice and great ideas.

All opinions are those of the author and not necessarily OneStep CPD.

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