What makes someone take on organising a conference for a large number of colleagues at relatively short notice, with little experience of event management and an already quite large “to do” list…….?
This is a question that I have pondered at length over the previous weeks and have come to the conclusion that it boils down to it being my responsibility!
I see it being my role to ensure that the students get the best possible education. As this year has progressed and my experience has broadened I have come to realise that the way in which I can facilitate this is by supporting the teachers that work with these students on a daily basis to be the best they can be. On the face of it this seems somewhat noble and ephemeral but it is the essence of my role. If you actually unpick what “supporting individual teachers to be the best that they can be” actually looks like you will probably reach the same conclusion that I have; for every teacher there is, there will be a different CPD requirement and therein lies the problem…..
How do you give as many teachers as possible the best chance of engaging with personalised and productive CPD?
It seems you organise a conference!
The principles I have used when organising #EducatEd2015 are as follows:
- Allow delegates to have free choice over their CPD experience.
- Keep it cost effective!
- Get together a group of reflective and informed presenters who are active in working out how we can all teach better and get them all to be at the same event, on the same day.
- Try to organise an event where delegates, as they leave, reflect on the day and decide it was time well spent.
- Believe that, given the opportunity, teachers will engage with high quality, inspirational CPD and then work with colleagues to collaboratively implement the ideas shared, resulting in a better education for the students.
- Keep your fingers crossed and believe it will all turn out OK!
My hope is that #EducatEd2015 will provide a catalyst for professional dialogue between colleagues that leads to improvements in teaching. These improvements will only be sustainable if they are developed collaboratively with other colleagues, probably from the same school, but possibly from a network of schools. Maybe #EducatEd2015 will allow teachers to develop a wider professional network within which they are able to engage and develop as professionals?
Long term teacher development is a vital aspect of creating a world leading education system. The improvement opportunities that collaborative and reflective working, coaching, peer observation and reflection bring about excite me and I believe should and will be the foundations that sustainable future teacher development are built upon. Hopefully this conference will provide just a small part in piecing that jigsaw together!
P.S. Don’t forget to tell your friends…….