How can schools continue to support teacher professional development?
Compared to lockdown in March 2020 where (remote) teacher training was in abundance, it has been a real challenge for some teachers to access professional development in the autumn of 2020.
Managing teacher wellbeing, and professional development
Given the circumstances, teacher training has since been a little hit and miss for some schools as the priority has shifted (quite rightly) towards managing test and trace procedures; including responding to the recovery curriculum, speculation about exams, last-minute announcements from the government as well as increased mental health in our young people.
Self-isolating staff and pupils (between 24-30 pupils per school, on average this week), as well as the challenge of keeping schools open, has made supporting teachers in their professional development a delicate one to balance (given that school leaders have also had to manage their teachers’ mental health).
Plus another headache announced by the English government today with a few days left of term, how on earth are school leaders ever going to upskill their teachers?!
Supporting teachers, worldwide
This week I had a conversation with Education Support Partnership, unpicking their latest annual Teacher Wellbeing Index in my bid to understand the working lives of teachers. The conclusion? There has been a significant rise in teacher stress in the Autumn term when compared to the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020.
The above subheading is a strapline I use in all my resources, and over the last three years, it has genuinely become what I am now doing full-time. Throughout this pandemic, I have supported teachers in Brazil, South Korea, across Europe and as far away as the Falkland Islands!
The Virtual INSET
In the months ahead, I have been inundated with requests to offer teacher training physically and remotely, and thankfully at least recordings allow me to reach more teachers and schools than I have the capacity to do so physically.
There have always been schools who, for whatever reason, haven’t planned ahead what will be happening on their INSET day. And in a period of time where we can all adapt online, I’ve since published the following resource to help plug those gaps.
You can use this an individual if you want to get ahead, or if you are a school leader reading this and thinking about planning a CPD opportunity for your teaching staff, this is a cheap, effective and powerful resource that you can share with your teachers across the school and college setting. Perfect content during INSET days.
There’s a short video teaser here.
I hope this virtual training makes a big difference to your knowledge as well as your classroom practice. Virtual teacher training is the future!