One thing that a huge number of teachers want and need the most isn’t actually available to them.
Unfortunately, time is a precious commodity that comes and goes all too quickly. Without sufficient time, many teachers struggle to fulfil all aspects of the role to the best of their ability.
And even if you somehow manage to earn or buy more time, teaching is hardly a job that can be ‘finished’. Sure you can choose to concentrate on the sole purpose of a teacher – to teach. But anyone who has spent more than five minutes in an education setting knows that this just isn’t possible.
Not only do teachers require more time to complete their daily duties and essential tasks, they also need more hours in the day for individual contemplation.
The importance of thought and reflection
Along with effective preparation and delivery, teaching is also dependent on thought and reflection. In order to survive and thrive as a teacher, ask yourself, ‘What went right today? What went wrong today? And how can I improve tomorrow?’
The only problem here is finding the time to look back on your experiences. With increasingly tight budgets and limited resources, schools have little capacity to provide staff with any continuing professional development (CPD).
Even if they do manage to provide CPD, it might not provide enough value to be worthwhile. As a result, teachers must manage it themselves, which is far from ideal.
The value of continuing professional development
There’s no magic formula or silver bullet to advance the proficiency of teachers. All we know is that CPD is invaluable, and the more time that can be set aside for it, the better.
Academics, researchers and writers have explored the notion of CPD in depth, presenting millions of ideas on how best to achieve greater enlightenment.
But even if teachers find enough time for CPD, they most definitely do not have enough time to locate the right resource to learn from.
A recent book release from Hanna Beech and Ross Morrison McGill aims to overcome this. They have distilled numerous CPD ideas into bite-sized theories designed to build knowledge, provide opportunities for deep thought and reflection, and facilitate the sharing of ideas among colleagues and teams.
A closer look at 60-second CPD
60-second CPD: 239 ideas for busy teachers is touted as a book that every teacher and leader, in every primary and secondary school, can return to again and again as the year moves on and their career progresses.
Each idea, which ranges from the conventional to the controversial, is easily digestible in roughly 60 seconds. Therefore, CPD can be an ongoing activity whenever you have a minute or two to spare.
“It is said that the best CPD can be measured by what you do the next time you are in the classroom,” says Richard Cahill, principal, Hinckley Academy, Leicestershire. “60-Second CPD exceeds this measure, packed full of clear, concise and incredibly practical strategies and tips ‘oven-ready’ for the classroom. I cannot recommend this highly enough.”