Among the many bright ideas I had last year one of them was to set myself the goal of speaking at a conference as part of my professional development. I fancy myself as a bit of a life-long learner and like to push myself out of my comfort zone from time to time, so 2012 would be the year that I spoke at IATEFL.
Deadline day for submitting speaker proposals came along back in October last year, and I still hadn’t come up with anything. A busy Friday at work and a few drinks down the pub allowed me to put it off further – but the trip home on the tube, and a furious couple of hours scribbling at home in the kitchen saw me inspired enough to send something in, with minutes to spare!
So I was both surprised, and a bit chuffed, to get my proposal accepted – and now IATEFL is literally round the corner. I’ll be speaking on Wednesday 21st March, at 16.55 in the Leven room – my session outline is here, please come along if you’re around!
My talk looks at Continuing Professional Development from a few angles. I’ll start by asking a simple question:
How well does ELT do CPD?
Whilst there are many opportunities out there, I know from experience that many schools have an unsystematic approach to CPD. With this in mind, what does the C and the P stand for?
I’ll go on to look at how to plan for CPD and why, from the perspective of a Director of Studies; how professional development looks and feels – from the perspective of teachers; and what external drivers there are, or should be, in the wider context to help promote CPD across the industry.
My interest in CPD goes back a few years now, but I recall one particular occasion in 2006 which sparked this interest. As a new-ish DOS, I had decided to join LONDOSA, the London Association for Directors of Studies, and the first monthly meeting I attended was a workshop led by guest speaker (& ELT Management guru) George Pickering called ‘Developing the Developers’. He started by asking 3 questions:
- How many hours per week do you spend developing others?
- How many hours per week do you spend developing yourself?
- Are you happy with this?
As a new DOS it felt like there was never enough time to think about developing others, let alone myself, so these questions struck a chord, as did the rest of the session, and since then I have gone on a professional development ‘journey’ which has taken in qualifications (the DELTM), workshops and conferences, twitter and PLNs, becoming Chair of Londosa, and setting up our very own CPD Club here at SGI.
So, I am very excited to be going further on my journey next week. And if you are going to be in Glasgow or not, it’d be interesting to hear what set you off on your CPD journey?