I'm sure that we have all sat in the school hall at the end or the start of the academic year, taking part in a billed 'CPD Day', with our minds elsewhere. I can count on the fingers of one hand whole-staff CPD sessions which have actually been memorable and, most importantly, useful for our subject. I've worked in some brilliant schools, with excellent leaders in teaching and learning, but have always found that I have to work really hard to implement the strategies being shared in these whole-school contexts and make them relevant to drama, with it's own unique rules of enquiry. This Blog will share specific strategies for planning and implementing your drama CPD, so that genuine learning take place and your practice can evolve.
1) Make Time and Space
Let's face it, we are all incredibly busy. You may book a webinar or training session and not factor in the time to really engage with the materials and take the proper time to prepare for the training or reflect on what's you've learnt. I cannot encourage you enough to build time into your schedule to do this.
Will you set a free period aside to prepare? When will you find time to watch the replay of the webinar or amend your scheme of work, ready for teaching?
Make sure you set a clear intention for the training, before you do it. (More about this later) CPD can come in very different forms. Look at your year plan. If you are particularly busy with a school production during one half term, what could you do on a smaller scale which would still impact on your practice? Perhaps engaging with a key article or shadowing a colleague for a lesson?
2) Plan it!
Just as you spend time planning what your students will learn, it is worth investing time in planning your own learning. As we become more experienced teachers, this is perhaps something we neglect but it is really worth-while setting time aside to plan properly. This need not be onerous but definitely considered. Here are some ideas which you may want to consider:
Plan for the academic year ahead- term by term and break it down into manageable chunks and goals (half termly).
Engage with a range of resources and course providers- both online and face-to-face. Ensure that you evaluate what you have learnt at the end of each half term.
Keep a CPD journal- nothing onerous but writing down goals means that you are committing to them.
We have created this beautifully-designed Drama CPD Planner and Reflective Journal Template, which you can download from Ideas Templates Folder of the Resource Library. Download it for free at the bottom of the post as a PDF template or one with notes.
3) Set an Intention
Set a clear intention for the training. What do you specifically want to gain from taking part? Make this specific. For example:
"I want to create a new scheme of work for..."
"I want to know how to/ learn how to...."
"I want to embed.....in my practice..."
4) Reflect, Implement and Set Targets
"CPD does not happen through a particular input of information; CPD occurs through what happens next" (Enser, p.7)
After you have engaged with the training, It is essential that you take time to reflect and start to implement what you have learnt. A simple way of doing this is to note down three key takeaways, which you feel are the most useful in terms of your teaching practice and subject knowledge. Then consider your pledge going forward and how you are going to utlise or implement one or more of these takeaways. Writing your pledge down is the first step towards making that commitment and having a clear focus going forward. This can be simply in the form of "I will....."
We hope these idea have been useful. The CPD Reflective Journal can be found in the Ideas Template in the Library. Enter the password here of you have already signed up:
You can sign up for the Resource Library here:
The CPD Curriculum: Creating Conditions for Growth by Zoe Enser & Mark Enser (2021)