Reflection on CPD Days

Today and yesterday were our in-service days. For class teachers that usually means two days of some sort of CPD. In my present post, however, it consisted of both attending CPD courses delivered by others – and delivering CPD courses to others.

A CPD course delivered by others – Monday:

The first course I attended was some CPD about CPD  🙂

It was delivered by Con Morris and Katie Barrowman two people I’ve only known virtually until yesterday. It was a very thought-provoking course, presented in an active and fun way. The chocolate orange was not won by anyone and a member of the Falkirk audience reminded Con that he’d promised to share it with everyone if no-one managed to get 2 correct answers to his question. (I was second last in the semi-circle, and was very pleased that there was a couple of slices left by the time Katie had made her way around the grateful recipients! )

We had all been asked to write down two forms of CPD that we knew of …. the ‘usual’ face to face type of twighlight session was not allowed to be one of them. Con spun the ‘random generator thing’ (I’ve seen Ewan use it in Teachmeet sessions – didn’t know it was from the classtools site), and if you had written that down then that was counted as you being half way to winning the chocolate orange all to yourself.

Although lots of people had managed to get one CPD option correct, no-one managed to get two. The whole exercise just brought it home to people the wide variety of activities that come under the umbrella of CPD.

……. Now for my embarrassing confession – I didn’t write down any of the generated answers!! In my defence, however, I took the ‘face-to-face’ type of CPD ban literally and tried to think of non ‘face-to-face’ activities only. What did I write down? ‘Reading educational blogs’ and ‘more recently, twittering’.

When the ‘generator thing’ came up with ‘other’, and Con asked if anyone had written something under that category, I almost admitted to my choice but was beaten to the post by someone at the other side of the room who admitted to writing down ‘going to the theatre’. Con’s reply was great (can’t remember his words exactly – but in summary it was something like ‘it’s ok to take time out to refresh’).

It was also a great surprise to everyone that Katie (I think she might have been the one who did this?) had taken the time to set us all up with a temporary Glow account and we all got to have a contemplative look at it – although I’m sure that there are more advantages available when you’re a fully paid up member 🙂

A CPD course delivered to others – Tuesday

Today it was my turn to deliver a course.

In the morning, I helped some staff in a school become familiar with their new Schools-Online website.
The afternoon session, however, was the highlight of my day! I was working with some teachers whose job it is to teach French to Primary 6 and 7 stage children. I introduced them to the effect that an audience can have on a class. We visited some schools that are using blogs to motivate children, and we looked at the use of freely available online tools to enrich learning and teaching.

The feedback forms they filled in made it very apparent that they were staggered by the number (and quality) of these tools. It was obvious that one of the main high spots of their CPD course was the delicious link given to me by Shirley via a recent comment on this blog – thank you for sharing, Shirley! You’ve made some teachers in Falkirk very, very happy 🙂

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