How to get the most out of your CPD
CPD is a great opportunity to reflect on your development and learn new approaches from others. It is something your school is obligated to provide to all teachers, to ensure that your knowledge and skills are up to date.
It is worth noting that Ofsted introduced a Personal Development section into their Inspection Framework in 2019. While Ofsted is concerned with students’ personal development, taking the time to prioritise your own wellbeing is important too! Embracing your own CPD will make you more aware of the wider benefits of personal development opportunities, helping you to better support your students' development.
We understand that it can be hard to want to prioritise CPD when you’re already busy with teaching. You might be tempted to just sit back and listen. But while this is a key part of engaging in CPD, our tips to help you get the most out of your CPD will help you take control of your development, giving you more spare time and improving your teaching practice in the long-run!
1. Take effective, organised notes
Making notes might seem like something reserved for your students in class, but it can be incredibly helpful when completing your CPD! If you make quality, organised notes, this means you can always look back at them when struggling in the future and it means that each session will make more sense as you can quickly refresh your mind on what you learnt in the last session.
Tips4Teaching have produced a fantastic free template to help you take effective notes during CPD sessions and bring what you've learned into your classroom.
2. Ask lots of questions
We imagine you often encourage students to ask questions because that is the best way to find out what they don’t know! We encourage you to ask questions when taking part in your CPD. Asking questions makes you an active participant, increasing the likelihood that you will remember what you have learnt.
3. Talk to your colleagues about their experiences
CPD is a way to learn about the latest developments and approaches in teaching.
Talking to your colleagues about these is a great way to share ideas, learn more about their experiences, and hear about different approaches they might be using. This is arguably one of the most helpful elements of CPD!
4. Make the most of role play activities
While role play might not be something you expected to take part in as a teacher, it provides a great opportunity to practice your approach and coping mechanisms. It might feel strange to role play scenarios with your colleagues but you should not underestimate the usefulness of doing so. It’s an opportunity to see how others would react to frequent situations in teaching and compare how you would react.
5. Reflect on how each CPD session went
The Department for Education expects that you reflect on the effectiveness of lessons and approaches to teaching. Reflecting on this, as well as on the new things you learnt at each CPD session, will help you streamline your techniques to make them the best they can be for you and your students. This blog from Tes shares some key tips for reflecting on your CPD and wider teaching practice.
Are you looking for more ways to prioritise your personal development and improve your teaching practice? Our FREE teacher wellbeing resources, designed and created by teachers, guide you through the development of your confidence, resilience, communication, and self-awareness skills.