By Susan Strachan
As you know, I have moved on to become a Head of Department, but I am very grateful for the CPD opportunities that were passed my way while at Churchill, as I believe these opportunities helped me grow as a teacher, leader and ultimately to secure a position in Middle Leadership.
What are they?
Jo Gill produces a booklet with all the CPD offers embedded in their with an explanation of the CPD opportunity. This was sent to everyone, meaning that it is equal. As teachers we may have a tendency to think ‘I’ll look at that later’ and then ‘later’ never comes. However, it is worth doing for both teaching and support staff as there is a huge variety of CPD opportunities that mean you are able to take responsibility for your own development and that give you a different focus from the normal day to day teaching, which helped me to develop both my teaching and as a professional.
Having sat on SLT from Easter, Sarah Tucker was prior to me, I can honestly say it was incredibly useful and such a valuable learning experience. Also, while I felt like an imposter to begin with, it was very clear that my ideas and opinions and questions were always listened to and I was encouraged to contribute, which was brilliant.
Seeing how decisions are made, how vast and varied the SLT role is and the way that the SLT have to balance massive decisions (such as the budget and safeguarding) with smaller day to day health and safety issues or issues around timetables or teaching staff requests was really eye-opening. What I found particularly interesting was the depth of thought and the consideration of issues from a range of perspectives, as well as the ‘parking’ of issues for further consideration and a return to. I can honestly say that every decision was weighed up, the implications on staff and students considered and the decision made was always with the best of intentions. I think sometimes this gets ‘Lost in Translation’ and the best of intentions are sometimes misinterpreted or communicated in a way that can make it feel like the SLT have a hidden agenda (I think this is unintentional and happens everywhere with communication). They don’t; they want (like all staff) to ensure that the staff and students are happy, able to do their job and students are able to learn safely, while still treating ‘people like people’. I’d highly recommend applying to see the range of issues and daily joys that SLT face, while running the school, managing staff, students and budgets and juggling demands that come in thick and fast. I know that I left Churchill with a greater understanding of what SLT do, what they think and why they think in that way and a vast amount of respect for everyone on the SLT as they work together as a close knit team to ensure that everyone is able to get on with the core purpose of the Academy.
I hope that this has given pause for thought about what CPD opportunities you’d like to try. Being an SLT intern took the fear of what SLT do away for me.
I’d like to leave you with 3 questions:
What CPD would you do if there was no time implication?
What CPD is on offer that you think is interesting and you could apply for?
What are you waiting for?
Dig out Jo’s CPD booklet, have a look and apply.
Hope that you enjoy your CPD as much as I did.