Moving on then……and how best to share things

This has been a very intense week: I had my last national conference with Scottish CILT, where I have worked for the last six years, and I have experienced my first network meeting with my new colleagues, the national CPD team and the CPD network. It has also been a week of personal disruption, since one of the children has been on an untimely  midterm week off to add to the interesting mix that goes on in this very  atypical family I seem to have created!

The Scottish CILT conference went really well – lots of good buzz about it and lots of chat about how to make things better for languages within the curriculum. I was really humbled by some of the teachers I listened to and spoke to. Many of them hadn’t had experience of presenting to an audience beyond their own contexts before this event, and for me that raises lots of questions about sharing expertise. If good stuff isn’t given an audience or platform, then how can we share it? And how can those who generate it get good at sharing it? And how can those who slip under the “accepted” radars of the arbiters of good practice (do I need to spell this out?) ever get a chance to share their practice? So what can we do to improve this? I know my colleagues in the national CPD tem have lots of ideas about it, but as far as languages go, I would really like to see lots more exchange going on at a national level: we have

a national organisation in Scottish CILT which is there for the unique purpose of supporting modern languages in Scotland

a national modern languages glow group

a Scottish CILT glow group where news, discussions, documents, views, websites and much more can be shared

So – lots of ways to share ideas and expertise; but what about presenting? Well. if you ever come across a Teachmeet – you will find a great way to present your ideas in either a 7 or a 2 minute format. Teachmeets are informal gatherings of progressively – orientated educators who really want to share things. Also check out the CPD team blog to see what is going on in terms of providing opportunities for professional growth for teachers.

So there are in fact lots of ways for professional growth to develop – so long as teachers feel comfortable about sharing what they know and can do. And surely  – if we are all to get  better at this, or at least embrace it – is there a down side?


About catrionao

I'm a lecturer at UWS and a PhD student at Stirling University, studying a school based practice of teacher professional learning.
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2 Responses to Moving on then……and how best to share things

  1. Mark Purves says:

    I would echo your comments about Teachmeets. 1 year ago I attended my first one of these at the London BETT show, thought I would never be participating, only to find 1 year later that I have spoken to 5 area teachmeets and since had invites to address 3 Primary MFL conferences! From a very nervy presenter to a conference speaker is a major shift for me personally. So if you have an interesting idea to share, try a local Teachmeet as a way of cutting your training teeth. The atmosphere is extremely indulgent and supportive of complete beginners. I always leave humbled at the scope and imagination of the work colleagues do.

    Also a plug for the work Vital are doing here in England via the Open University. I don’t know if it extends to Scotland but it offers a ‘virtual conferencing’ CPD model that Teachmeets have begun to explore since Teachmeet sessions are live streamed.

  2. catrionao says:

    Great story, thanks Mark. I think this is a really good illustration of how empowering this type of teacher-owned CPD can be. Didn’t know you were with Vital. We are fortunate in Scotland to have Glow, the national intranet (and fantastic teaching and learning tool) with its own inbuild VC system called Glow meet. The National CPD team makes great use of this with weekly CPDmeets on anything that might be interesting or work towards building teacher capacity – check out our blog to find out more about the work of the team. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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