The importance of Continuing Professional Development

CPD (Continuing Professional Development) refers to the action, either formal or informal, that are taken to develop and broaden your skills, knowledge and personal qualities that enhance your professional competence and practice. It is a key in optimizing a person’s career opportunities for both today and the future. In short your CV will be improved by adding recognised and certified courses to it.

Why is CPD important

Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think” – Albert Einstein.

CPD is important because it ensures a structured, practical and relevant learning and guarantees there are applied efficiencies in the process. It plays an essential role in education so that the professionals stay up to date in their knowledge and be competent. It allows the individual to be confident of his recognizable improvements within their proficiency and focuses on what skills are required over time.

Why is CPD important for teachers?

CPD is likely to affect attitudes and approaches and therefore, contribute to improve the quality of learning and teaching process.Teachers who focus on CPD tend to have a huge positive effect on motivation and enthusiasm. The process of consensus and discussion gives professionals control over how they take any input forward.

CPD training programs for teachers

CPD training programs should firstly be aware of and address the specific needs of teachers. Once, they have been identified, proper activities must be planned to support the teachers in applying their knowledge and teaching methodologies confidently.

Professional development is not only dependent on informal and spontaneous learning of teachers from one another but also relies on prior knowledge. Sharing exisiting knowledge with one another is also a valuable tool for development.Primary teachers tends to identify wider benefits that go beyond their personal learning like working with colleagues, impactful pupil learning and addressing immediate school needs.

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Secondary teachers are more likely to participate in CPD training programs for long term goals. An example of successful mentoring program for teaching is Osaava Verme in Finland. It is a wide network that aims at providing a life-long continuum ofteachers’ professional development by building bridges between pre-service andin-service teacher education.

CPD training can be self-directed and informal too. Reading professional journals in order to keep up to date with teaching developments, attending short courses that meet the training needs identified by the professional himself/herself. Feedback from peers, colleagues and students may also inform professional practice and CPD.

Online training programs to enhance CPD

Many online courses are available to develop teaching skills with an in-depth, short development courses that are easy to fit around your timetable. The best part is, you can start learning free of cost whether on your desktop, mobile or tablet. Also, you are able to with top educationalists from leading universities and specialist teaching organizations.

The link between CPD, happiness and well-being of a teacher

Well-being is defined as the state of being comfortable, healthy and happy. Stress and burnout are increasingly associated with the teaching profession due to excessive workload and dealing with students and colleagues consequently affecting a person’s well-being adversely.

High quality CPD supports the teachers to deal with such challenges efficiently and overcome the sense of low well-being.

Ample time should be given to the teachers to focus on their own professional development, for their research, reading, observing colleagues to improve their teaching practice. Support of your colleagues is of paramount importance as it is a way of encouraging positive working relationship within your school. Small changes could have a meaningful and powerful impact on teachers by boosting their well-being.