The Hallmarks of Effective Professional Development

@TeacherToolkitIn 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the ‘most followed teacher on social media in the UK’. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the ‘500 Most Influential People in Britain’ by The Sunday… Read more about @TeacherToolkitHow do you know if professional development is any good in your school?Based on some of the schools that I have worked with, from primary, secondary, independent and state schools, free schools, grammars, academies and international schools, here are how schools are meeting the challenges of professional development.CPD is protectedIt is calendared for the academic yearThere are clear programmes of study, linked to whole school prioritiesAccessing educational research has a grassroots approachThe leadership team take a step back, but interestingly always take partTeaching and learning ideas are presented, interpreted and evaluated; teachers discuss how ideas work in the classroomDiscussions are honest, non-threatening and reflectiveThere is collegiality, with external visitors and partnership schools collaboratingSupport staff are catered for; they stand up in front of the teaching colleagues and present on things they have learntMembership to organisations such as the Chartered College of Teaching, subject associations, unions is encouragedOne per cent of the school’s overall budget is protectedSchools offer a mixture of morning, lunch and after-school sessions to meet the needs of all their staff, including those with flexible working conditionsAbsent and part-time staff have a follow-up sessionChildcare facilities, diversity, gender as well as research, are high on the agendaGone are the days of one person at the front, reading Powerpoint slidesTraditional isolated days are disaggregated and time throughout the year is offered for a more rhythmLesson reflection is paramount, with some developing an alternative approach where teachers build up their own portfolio of evidenceAppraisal has moved swiftly from performance management to research enquiry More details and research explained in my forthcoming book.We are a good way off these ideas taking place in all of our schools; funding, policies and support from external agencies matter, but teachers and schools are generally best-placed to get the best out of pupils. We need to empower them to do so …Related

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