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?