New Year’s resolutions – what are yours? How about focusing on CPD?

The year has barely started and it’s been quite a busy one here: planning and delivering training sessions, submitting proposals to conferences and writing posts and articles, all with the main aim of focusing on CPD – Continuing Professional Development.

The pursuit for professional development in teaching should not stop when obtaining the CPE or a teaching qualification such as the CELTA. CPD, as the name itself suggests, aims at ongoing development, at helping professionals become better day after day.

Learning more about the English language is crucial for teachers of English – TLA (Teacher Language Awareness) can be a serious issue and the best way to deal with it is studying the language in more depth. If your availability prevents you from doing a course with this focus, having a good grammar book (such as Martin Parrott’s Grammar for English Language Teachers) can be an alternative solution. Focusing on an area of interest, such as phonology for instance, can also be a way to increase your language awareness.

I attended a talk in a conference last year in which the speaker shared the following quote, “There’s no learning in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the learning zone”. Moving out of your comfort zone is a fantastic way to move towards CPD. Becoming an elementary learner again (how about learning a new language?) can certainly shed some light on how to deal with A1 students; learning a new craft or taking up a new sport can also bring some insights to your teaching and help you think outside the box when planning your lessons.

All in all, it’s true to say that if you truly care about what you do, if you do it with passion, you should certainly plan how you want to develop professionally. I’d like to end this post with a quote by Eduard Lindeman, “Education should be coterminous with life.”

What are your CPD plans for 2016?

Catarina Pontes

Catarina Pontes is a senior consultant for Troika. She is an ICELT main course tutor, and Cambridge Assessment English Team Leader . A DELTA holder, and currently doing her MA with NILE, she is also a conference speaker and has published articles on ELT and EFL. She is the co-author of "Getting into Teacher Education - a Handbook", and is currently the coordinator of IATEFL's Pron SIG.

  • Fernanda Patucci
    Posted at 23:05h, 25 janeiro Responder

    Hello, everyone!

    I’ve learned with you, Catarina, the importance of CPD in teaching. I knew it was important, but I didn’t know how much it affects the way we teach. It’s clear the difference when we look at our careers from this perspective, because, if we stop and think for a second, we are always going back to the comfort zone, eventually, and the biggest challenge we have to face when teaching is learning how to get out of this comfort zone and (hopefully) never come back!

    I´ve been investing in my career since the first day I left the training course (prepared by you, by the way) and I can see some good results coming from this. I think it’s important for us, teachers, to be members of organisations that provide online courses, webinars, conferences and access to materials that will be useful for us to get our of the comfort zone and become better teachers.

    As teachers, we have to keep pace with the world, otherwise, we will be left behind and so will our students 🙂

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Catarina Pontes
      Catarina Pontes
      Posted at 20:49h, 26 janeiro Responder

      Thank you so much for the kind words and well done for investing in your career, Fernanda!
      CPD is the way to go and I’m positive you’ll have great results!

  • Adriana Salvanini
    Posted at 10:51h, 26 janeiro Responder

    Dear Catarina,
    This is a very nice post.
    CPD, regardless of the area, is paramount. The plethora of resources we have nowadays (e.g. online courses) makes CPD very much possible whenever one is in the world. Also, the delicious discomfort of leaving the comfort zone brings lots of benefits besides the ones mentioned above, such as:

    – it boosts confidence and self-steem;
    – it boosts paticence and humility;
    – it makes one more flexible and adaptable;
    – it opens up doors to new opportunities;
    – it improves self-awareness;
    – it improves the ability to deal with the unpredictable.

    Needless to say, CPD goes beyond the professional arena, helping us develop as a professional. It also helps us develop, first and foremost, as a person.

    • Catarina Pontes
      Catarina Pontes
      Posted at 20:47h, 26 janeiro Responder

      That’s a very nice way to look at CPD, too, Adriana!
      Thank you very much for your comments and for the additional ideas! 🙂

  • Andreia Zakime
    Posted at 22:01h, 26 janeiro Responder

    Thanks for your post, Catarina!

    The beginning of a new year is definitely the best time for teachers to reflect upon and plan how they are going to keep developing professionally. I agree with Adriana that the resources available make CPD very much possible for everyone and I would add that developing awareness of areas for improvement and setting clear and attainable objectives are crucial for healthy CPD.

    • Catarina Pontes
      Catarina Pontes
      Posted at 11:36h, 08 fevereiro Responder

      Very good points, Andreia! Thanks for adding them and for commenting! 🙂

Post A Comment