Keep calm and….

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Recently we had our national conference for language teaching and learning and it was a steep learning curve. In terms of programming it, pulling it together and taking a chance on a few things. This biggest aim for me was what was right at the heart of it! For teachers, by teachers.
We tinkered with times to give people as much time as they could to talk, discuss, question and share and it made for a really interesting day.
Our key-note challenged every one of us to think about just what is at the core of what we do and why and I was left feeling very inspired but also having had a few of my own ideas prodded at.
200 teachers investing in themselves can only be a good thing -no?
We had a session where we talked about CPD and how and what we could do. When was the last time we had invested in ourselves as linguists and practionners? We talked about how the daily challenge of teaching and learning in schools often didn’t leave us enough time to think about teaching and learning. How we often undertake CPD at a time when we are not always ready to give of our best to engage with it.
Some commented that they would like a wider variety of types of CPD. Could we do more podcasts so people could listen while working on something? Could we do look at moving our meetings to more far-flung places as despite the amount of technology we have, noting replaces the impact of a face to face conversation.
One of the conversations was about observation and how people would like the chance to go and observe colleagues from the same subject area, just for the sheer luxury of being able to do it. No pro formas no agenda, just the chance to enjoy, learn and have the chance to reflect on approaches. That sounds like a revolution to me.
I am lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the most enthusiastic and engaged educators who have the same curiosity for learning that I have. Our conversations are animated and thought-provoking and challenging. I waste libertine training with my team the other day and two of us were finishing sentences for the other. The observations and professional dialogues we have are vital to us progressing as a team and being successful in what we do. We have the luxury of time ( well now and again) which is one of the rarest commodities in education.
One of the best pieces of CPD I have ever done was attend the researchED conference and it was a chance to get some space to think ( no distractions of the day job) engage in conversation about pedagogy and ideas. It was also an occasion to have some ideas prodded and some cemented.
Time, communication, development, space…..better learning for better teaching.
Keep calm and CPD on.

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