Motivation is the key to successful learning – and that applies to us, as professional educators, just as much as it does to our students. Further Education professionals are expected to take the lead in their own CPD much more so than in other areas of education, so it’s critical that you (a) give yourself every opportunity and (b) only spend time on that which is truly of value.
How does CPD work for you?
CPD must be relevant to our occupational needs, maybe solving a problem or showing us how to make our tasks easier. It must be timely, providing information that we can use right now, not at some obscure future date when we will have forgotten all about it. Above all, we must be able to see clearly how any CPD activity will really benefit us in our daily teaching challenges.
Don’t miss out
As professionals who may have been teaching or lecturing for many years, it is easy to assume that continual practicing of those skills makes us experts – but does it? I’ve been driving a car for very many years but does that make me an expert or could I have acquired a few bad driving habits along the way? A recent refresher on my driving skills certainly highlighted a few areas for improvement.
Quick questions to ask yourself to check the long term impact of your CPD
In education we owe it to our students to provide the best, the most motivating and the most useful education, and to do that, we do sometimes need to review and update our own skills. But there is, or perhaps should be, another possible motivator for taking up CPD opportunities.
1. Where is your career taking you?
2. Are you on paths to advancement? – and thus motivated to provide the best for your students?
3. By attending this CPD, how can you gain recognition for our learning?
4. How will that learning directly help you in advancing a career? Or lead to a more satisfying role?
Quick questions to check the quality of your training
On a Friday afternoon, when your students have already started their holiday, being stuck in a classroom with pen and notebook to hand, sat at a student’s desk, are you really wanting to be there? Indeed, is the course presenter really motivated to deliver? Perhaps the whole approach to CPD needs a massive overhaul!
1. Looking at marketing, would you buy a product marketed by the person who delivered your most recent CPD experience?
2. Did the CPD session leave you smiling? Or frowning?
3. Is the CPD delivery should be setting the standards, motivating and useful and leaving you wanting to come back for more?
4. Is it acknowledged, rewarded and visibly aiding career paths?
5. Is it using a multimedia approach that is inclusive and reinforces its message in ways that work for all learning styles – including those of us who really hate role-play?
To get the most out of your time, work with colleagues and your Principal to revisit CPD delivery and explore ways that we can make it as great as our own best teaching and something that we all really want to take part in.