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?

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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.

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