Tips for Teachers: 33. Professional Development and Growth

May 8, 2024 | Blogs

Tips for Teachers: 33. Professional Development and Growth

May 8, 2024 | Blogs

‘Effective teaching requires considerable knowledge and skill, which should be developed as teachers’ careers progress. High-quality professional development requires workplaces to be steeped in rigorous scholarship, with professionals continually developing and supporting each other so that pupils benefit from the best possible teaching.

Effective professional development relies upon teachers, headteachers and leadership teams in schools providing professional development, being clear about their respective roles and working together effectively.

  1. Professional development should have a focus on improving and evaluating pupil outcomes.
  2. Professional development should be underpinned by robust evidence and expertise.
  3. Professional development should include collaboration and expert challenge.
  4. Professional development programmes should be sustained over time.’

(Standard for teachers’ professional development, DfE 2016)

Research demonstrates that the biggest impact on pupil outcomes is the quality of teaching and the best way to improve this is high-quality development of teachers applied rigorously and with support to ensure continuous growth and development.

It is important we reflect on both on our teaching practice and the professional learning we have accessed to aid our growth and improvement.

Finlay asserts that reflective practice is understood as the process of learning through and from experience towards gaining new insights of self and/or practice. She goes on to describe it as often involving examining assumptions of everyday practice; as well as tending to involve the individual practitioner in being self-aware and critically evaluating their own responses to practice situations.  The point being to recapture practice experiences and mull them over critically in order to gain new understandings and so improve future practice.

Reflecting on our practice takes time, something we are short of; however, it is important to commit to building in the time to do it effectively to ensure professional growth.

When reflecting upon and/or reviewing professional development, consider: 

  • Your main learning points,
  • The way you may utilise the information / learning gained,
  • What you could put into practice, trial with your own class/students,
  • The impact of actions taken,
  • Improvements in pupil outcomes,
  • What support or further professional development you might need,
  • The impact on your growth and learning,
  • Your career development progress. 

‘Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better.’ Dylan Wiliam

    This blog was written by Bretta Townend-Jowitt, Education Consultant and Trainer. 

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