Another week and yet another session of CPD. Such the lot of new teacher – CPD after CPD after CPD. Obviously it is important for everyone involved in the teaching profession to continually improve and develop their skills and knowledge but I wonder at the volume of CPD that is foisted on new teachers.
Between October and Christmas the number of compulsory sessions that I had to attend began to border on the ridiculous with barely a full week spent in school. Surely the main purpose of the probation year is to learn to teach in a school setting and it was unfortunate that most of my CPD occurred on the same day of the week. It was clear that some of my classes that suffered and were behind where they ideally should have been because of the number of times I had to leave cover work rather than teach them anything new. Luckily this term the number of compulsory CPD session have decreased dramatically this term, for which I am grateful, and the days on which they occur are different each time so when I do have to be out of school it is not always the same classes that I miss.
CPD is a constant thing and encompasses personal, school and local authority elements and is a natural part of our development into better teachers, educators and people. However, I believe there should be more choice in some of the sessions that have to be attended as, obviously, some get more out of different sessions than others.
CPD is, overall, what I would call a necessary evil – it has to be done but it is not always worth while. A certain number of hours have to be completed each year but surely we, as professionals, are able to choose what CPD would be the most beneficial to our personal development. After all there are a fair number of new teachers – including myself – who have done more in our lives than just go from school, university, teacher training and back to school. Thus even those of us who are new to teaching are capable of deciding for ourselves the path of our own professional progress and development and should be allowed to do so with some autonomy.