Please remind me of this post in ten/twenty years time!
This week was concluded, not by the frenetic end of the week finishing-off and catching up activities, but with an enlightening and engaging training session from @alanpeat. We had booked Alan in over 12 months ago, but due to unforeseen events we had to rearrange to Friday gone. Alan Peat is someone whom I take great delight in reading on Twitter and, unsurprisingly, was very excited that he was coming to my school to share his wealth of knowledge, experienced (not to mention his vociferous opinions on the education world!) – if ever you get a chance to see Alan, do it, he is worth every penny, offers lots of free, useful, resources whilst still promoting his publications.
Now, I’m not an Alan Peat stalker, but an NQT with a love of learning, a teacher who wishes to develop and progress, a teacher who wishes to keep on top of the changing world, or dare I say, one step ahead (if that’s remotely possible). I have been lucky enough to also have had a training day hosted by @ICT_MrP (Lee Parkinson), which has resulted in me taking a level of responsibility on our computing team and developing our computing hardware and software armament.
When sharing my excitement of the training sessions, or recalling my attendance at #pedagoolondon, I was chided with a “you’ll get over it” by at least two more experienced teachers. A comment that I chose to laugh off but one that has escaped my musing: why would anyone sneer at the opportunity to gain greater experience from those with specialism tested, and peer reviewed knowledge? Typically, this is not the voice of everyone: my wife, @hayleyearl, has been teaching for fifteen years, has developed a skill far superior to mine at blogging (themusingsofateacher.wordpress.com), and is starting to spend some time speaking at conferences and learning from her peers. Furthermore, both the musingsofateacher and my own blog are a direct result of and have been shaped by award winning blogger @ictevangelist, Mark Anderson, another source of pedagogical CPD. My deputy head was sharing his excitement about the number of key speakers we have had in the past eighteen months and we often have a catch up about items that have appeared on our Twitter feeds.
With the shortage of funding for the local authority to put on training courses, and the provision of private, offsite training being cost prohibitive, I rely on Twitter, attending teach-meets, conferences and the knowledge of my peers to shape my practice. It is experiential CPD which, in my opinion, is the most superior form of CPD. I know that often teach-meets are at the end of a long day or week and that it impinges on family and marking time or that I’m reviewing my Twitter feed when I should be heading off to bed but these opportunities are to be embraced, relished and utilised: after all, it’s for your own benefit.
So what turns a teacher from a pedagogy enthusiast into a disengaged, uninterested plodder? Is it an age thing (although I’m no spring chicken!)? Is it apathy for an ever changing industry? Nevertheless, whatever it may be, I don’t want it to happen to me!