Exploring what matters

Welcome to the IRIS Connect blog space where you can join conversations and discover free resources, tips and summaries. We hope you find something useful for your professional development and learning.

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Training vs professional development - what's the difference and does it matter?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 11 February, 2019

When we think of teachers’ continuing professional development (CPD), it’s often the one-off training courses that first spring to mind. But, as well as single training sessions, the term CPD also covers teaching and learning activities designed to help teachers develop their practice; from research, self-reflection and lesson observations to Lesson Study, feedback and coaching.  

Before we discuss the difference between training and development, and their roles in effective CPD, let’s start by taking a deeper look at what CPD is.

Close up of businessman hand and question sign hanging on finger

 

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Lesson observation feedback: 6 tips to improve it

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 4 February, 2019

Have you recently given someone lesson observation feedback? Did you feel like you motivated your colleague and inspired them to try different teaching methods?

If you've ever been on the receiving end of poor feedback then you'll know how unhelpful it is. Feedback is highly personal and can either make or break a situation. According to Professor John Hattie, receiving effective feedback is the factor that has the most impact on a student’s progress. This can also be applied to a teachers’ continuing professional development (CPD), making it one of the most important aspects of CPD.

So, to get the most out of lesson observation feedback, you should always be looking for better ways to give it, whether formally or informally. Here are 6 tips...

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Teachers missing out on vital CPD according to survey

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 1 February, 2019

The vast majority of teachers are facing barriers to accessing essential CPD, a recent survey by the Department for Education (DfE) has revealed.

More than 9 in 10 (91%) teachers have faced barriers preventing them from accessing continuing professional development (CPD). The School Snapshot Survey by the DfE cites the cost of CPD and lack of time as the biggest obstacles.

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Everyone needs a coach

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 28 January, 2019

This is an extract from ‘Your Practical Guide to Video Coaching Teachers’. Download the entire guide for FREE here >

“Coaching done well may be the most effective intervention designed for human performance.” - Atul Gawande, Personal Best, The New Yorker

Handwritten Time for Coaching on a Green Chalkboard. Top View Composition with Chalkboard and White Cup of Coffee. 3D Render.

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Teacher confidence (efficacy): Why does it matter and how can SLT increase it?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 21 January, 2019

 Efficacy - or a teacher’s level of confidence in their abilities - can be highly influenced by past experiences or your current school culture. For example, a bad classroom experience or negative work environment can quickly diminish a teacher’s confidence.

Interestingly, seeing students grow and working in a collaborative environment can boost a teacher’s belief in their ability and improve performance. Research also suggests that teachers with a strong sense of self-efficacy tend to be better planners, more resilient through failure, and more open-minded and supportive with students.

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Hitting the right notes: improving teaching practice with the Chartered Teacher Programme

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 18 January, 2019

Guest blog from Dr Steven Berryman, Director of Music at City of London School for Girls and Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London. Also, Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching.

As a musician, practice is part of daily life. Or I tell my pupils that it is. We practice to maintain our facility at our instrument (or voice), often using exercises to keep certain aspects in good health (such as sound production) because we want our instrumental/vocal skills to be ready when we need them.

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