Reflect: The value of CPD

reflect v5

REFLECT

To say something about the topic

Approx. 60 minutes

CPD as growth, not repair

In addition to taking breaks and ensuring that we have a healthy work-life balance, Sarah Mercer and Tammy Gregersen invite us to approach professional development as growth, not repair in their book on Teacher Wellbeing (2020). In their activity ‘deficits defeat, empowerment excites’ (pp. 5-6), they ask us to focus on our successes in order to ‘generate a sense of empowerment and stimulate further development and growth’.

TASK: Let’s use this activity here to pause and think on your strengths. Copy the table below or use this version for Word and complete it for yourself. Keep it together with your notes for this course and use it to help inform future reflective activities such as appraisals. 

  Describe it: who, what, where? What made it special? How did you benefit? How could you build on this in the future?
An inspiring professional development or learning experience you have had.        
A professional experience where you felt competent and where your engagement with your work appeared to flow.        
An occasion where you were successfully able to do something that previously had felt too difficult, daunting, or even impossible.        
A time when you received a compliment or praise from somebody who you valued and appreciated.        

  Taken from: Mercer & Gregersen (2020, p.6)

Make a plan

As we have explore throughout this unit, there are many opportunities for professional development, but where do we start? One way of doing this is by determining the type of development you want to engage in and make a plan that is realistic. For example: 

I want to develop this term by reading some articles and applying some ideas in the classroom. 

  • Spend 30 minutes a week reading professional ELT magazines or blogs (e.g. Wednesday morning before work)
  • Once a month, use an idea from an article in my classroom and write my reflections in my development journal. Apply one of the reflective cycles we have seen on this course. 
  • See if I can use the same idea again with another group of learners and reflect on it again before considering if I want to use this new technique / approach as part of my practice.

What about you? How would you like to continue developing in the next few months? What action plan are you going to follow?

TASK: Write your ideas in your personal notebook. You may want to revisit your development plan later on to check your progress. If you are not making the expected progress, reassess the situation using the following questions: 

  • Was your development plan realistic for the time available? 
  • What would help you stick to the plan? (e.g. creating a routine, set specific time aside, etc.)
  • Is this development plan in line with your current needs or your learning preferences?

Improving our own wellbeing

TASK: Watch this video in which a teacher gives some tips on improving our wellbeing. 

Teacher Wellbeing Tips: Reduce Stress and Improve Workflow

  • What tips does the speaker give?

Answers

Tip 1: Diet – we should consider our nutrition by improving what we eat.

Tip 2: Exercise – it can make you feel good by releasing serotonin. 

Tip 3: Break – focus on activities that we enjoy doing but avoid our phones and social media.

Tip 4: Prioritise – we should focus on our self and our thoughts before others.

Tip 5: Sleep – without this, we can’t be the best version of ourselves.

  • Do you follow any of the tips the speaker mentions? Can you add any further tips?

An alernative task is suggested in place of the above on p51 of the notes

Further reading

TASK: Now read this two blogs:

Managing your mental health as a TEFL Teacher 

Teacher Wellbeing | TeachingEnglish | British Council

Make a note of the tips mentioned in each article focusing on tips that you would like to follow.