A couple of weeks ago, I wrote the first entry of a ‘two part’ post about a great weekend of CPD activities and I’ve finally managed to get around to writing part two (how time flies!).
The second CPD opportunity came about after I read that the Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland (ACTS) were having a buffet lunch in Aberdeen. I took advantage of some bargain rail fares and an even better accommodation bargain and set off early on the Friday afternoon (JV had left in the morning to do some sightseeing). Although I’m a member of ACTS, I’m not on the committee, but everyone who attended the lunch was invited to stay on for the open meeting. The committee members are to be commended for the hard work they do to help the association thrive. Dorothy and David – and a whole host of others regularly give up their free time to attend these meetings so that the ACTS vision can be realised.
I’ve copied the Vision and Aims statement from the ACTS blog:
To facilitate and encourage communication and collaboration within a community of Chartered Teachers
· To support the community of Chartered Teachers in all its forms
· to encourage communication and collaboration between Chartered Teachers
· to encourage the provision of appropriate level CPD opportunities for Chartered Teachers
· to develop awareness of the professional identity of Chartered Teachers
· to make representation on issues affecting those in the Association of Chartered Teachers.
I’m proud of my Chartered Teacher status, and I explained my reason for embarking on the C T journey in a previous post. But what can I do, as a fully qualified Chartered Teacher to realise these aims? Well – a few of us CTs in Falkirk got together and we’ve come up with some ideas:
This CPD oppportunity is being organised/run by a few of us who have achieved the status.
We’re all going to tell of our experiences since gaining full Chartered Teacher status – and all have very different stories to tell! It won’t be a passive experience for those attending, though, and we’ve planned to make the event as collaborative as possible in the short time available.
- A CPD Session for those thinking about embarking on the Chartered Teacher Journey
This CPD opportunity is for those teachers who are contemplating the journey.
Again, all the presenters have very individual stories to tell. I think that’s the message we want to give – it’s a very personal journey and there’s no ‘one size fits all’ element – so lots of discussion during that event as well 🙂
- An Opportunity to Attend a TeachMeet Event
Beginning on Monday 27th September, Falkirk is holding a week long ‘Learning to Achieve’ festival.
Various events will be held all over the Falkirk area to celebrate learning and Teaching, and on the Thursday of that week there will be a TeachMeet in Carronshore primary School from 4-6pm. The group of Chartered teachers who organised the above CPD activities thought it would be a great idea to hold a Chartered TeachMeet in the same venue between 6.30 and 8pm. I should add that the requests to hold both the TeachMeets came from Falkirk staff who have never actually attended one, but had heard of the concept through the grapevine and thought it sounded like a great idea.
David Noble has agreed to chair the event, and Dorothy Coe has already signed up to give a 7 minute presentation (I’ll add my name soon – and will try my best to persuade some others here to do the same!)
Writing this blog post has helped me realise that I’m going to be busy when I return to class teaching in August! 🙂
I find it disappointing that the ACTS “vision” is so inward-looking. Perhaps I’ve got the wrong end of the stick, but I’d have expected the vision to paint a picture of a world where effective CTs were improving learning throughout their schools and communities, not just looking after their own interests. The association definitely has a role to play there.
Of course, this might just be a poor choice of words for the vision, but words are important, especially as a lot of people are interested in how the role of CTs develops.
Your CPD courses sound more like the sort of thing that’s expected from CTs: you and your colleagues are keeping your eye on the ball of how the scheme feeds through to improved learning. I’m sure they’ll be very popular and worthwhile.
Thanks for the comment, David. I hope you’re right about our CPD courses being popular and that people sign up to come along. It’s probably always a ‘hit or miss’ affair?
Maybe I don’t see the vision and aims as ‘inward-looking’ because I’m happy that David and Dorothy etc. are working hard to try to make sure that Chartered Teachers get the recognition that they deserve.
I’m thinking about a post I wrote previously – http://mvass.net/2009/09/30/a-chartered-teacher-debate/
I was surprised at the diversity of opinions that existed about CT status then.
Fingers crossed that things have moved on 🙂
Thanks for your comment David. It’s very concerning and disappointing to read of how you have interpreted words we spent some considerable effort to develop.
Naturally, our aims do centre on the role of Chartered Teachers – is that what you mean by looking after our own interests? – but far from being inward looking, they are emphatically the opposite .
In developing the new organisation, we realised that one way to maximise the impact of Chartered Teachers on learning would be to facilitate communication between them and we were conscious that no means existed then for Chartered Teachers to identify or to encounter purposely other Chartered Teachers and many felt very isolated. Hence the first and second aims.
The thirst of Chartered Teachers to enhance their practice still further, for the benefit of learners and learning led to the third.
A wish to address the lack of information about what a Chartered Teacher is and thus encourage wider participation in the scheme, with the consequent benefits for learners led to the fourth.
The wish to contribute from the wealth of Chartered Teachers’ experiences to public debate on issues such as the Donaldson review on Teacher Education prompted the final aim.
Perhaps you would find in the words from our membership leaflet more of the outward-looking ethos of ACTS:
“The Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland is an independent, professional organisation, established and run by and for Chartered Teachers. ACTS members are Chartered Teachers and those following the Chartered Teacher programme. They share a desire to practise and promote effective education across all sectors and in all settings, through critical awareness of pedagogy and learning. ACTS provides support for its members in the form of publications, events, information and advice, and provides a channel of communication between the community of Chartered Teachers and the wider context of Scottish education.”
The record of what we have been able to achieve in our relatively short history, (see the blog for full list) and the plans already underway for future ACTS events – Teachers as Researchers, (18th September, Aberdeen) a second conference (5th Feb, Stirling) – speak of our whole-hearted engagement with and commitment to, at the very least, “improving learning” in the wider community of education.
We thought it was too obvious, but perhaps we do after all need to include in our literature the sentence from our constitution which states that “the purpose of the association is the advancement of education.”
I feel less isolated knowing that ACTS has been established.
I worked hard to achieve Chartered Teacher status and I intend use what I learned to continue to carry out more classroom based action research when I return to school in August.
I’ll blog about my journey as I learn more about ePortfolios … and if anyone wants to be my critical/sceptical friend, please get in touch 🙂
Just signed up for the Carronshore TM, gonna do a wee 2 mins too.
And more importantly, the meal.
I have passed on both the course details as I have colleagues in both situations. Some, like me, have taught for ten years and are ‘CPD Active’ but have held back from joining the CT route due to the CT role still not being defined and settled.
Brilliant! Are you sure you couldn’t manage a 7 minute?? Your presentation sounds really interesting (Carronshore teachers were very impressed by your Graphic Novel talk last year).
You’ve inspired me to add to the wiki, too … almost time to move it to the front of the queue!!
Are you available if we need some techy help setting up? 🙂
Could make it 7mins if you wish. I have talked a Biology teacher in to doing a talk on CfE S1-2 Active science lessons. I see him doing cool stuff with S1 and want to join his class…..
I can help set up stuff, can be there early as no classes Thursday Pm, can be there from 1.30pm.
Are we going to GlowMEET it ?
Maybe try to get KB back again ?
Happy Class Teaching.
That’s fantastic that you’re going for a 7 minute slot – and great that you’ve spread the new to other staff in your school!
Have you got any more ideas to persuade others to come along?
I’m not sure about GlowMeet – I think KB has moved elsewhere now and is no longer our LA Glow contact person.
I don’t know if the ‘bring a colleague’ thing TMSLF2010 have setup is worth emulating ?
Is ConMorris etc going to turn up ? They will also help promote it too.
The Biology Teacher is probably going to do Outdoor learning at the Jupiter Centre, enhances Standard Grade class work.