Why is CPD for practising English teachers vital, and why does it matter?

  • You’ve finished your degree. – Check.
  • You’ve completed all your practical experience requirements so that you can graduate. – Check.
  • Your new job is lined up and ready to go. – Check.

The first part of your mission is well and truly accomplished. So sit back, relax and pat yourself on the back.

However, don’t rest up for too long! If you do, you’ll be lagging behind your colleagues, and then you’ll be obsolete. The need for CPD is as true for practising teachers as it is for any professional with years of experience in the workplace.

CPD for practising English teachers is vital because it ensures that you continue to be competent in your profession. Therefore, it continues throughout your career as a type of insurance against your skills becoming obsolete and no longer needed.

The benefits of CPD for practising English teachers

Well-structured and delivered continuing professional development is crucial because it benefits the individual, profession, and public.

  • CPD ensures your capabilities keep pace with the current standards of others in the same field. – Outstanding skill.
  • CPD ensures that you maintain and enhance the knowledge and skills you need to deliver a professional service to your customers, clients and the community. – Outstanding skill.
  • CPD ensures that your knowledge stays relevant and up to date. As a result, you are more aware of your profession’s changing trends and directions. The pace of change is probably faster than it’s ever been. You will get left behind if you stand still, as your knowledge and skills become outdated. – Outstanding skill.
  • CPD helps you continue to make a meaningful contribution to your team. As a result, you become more effective in the workplace. This enables you to advance in your career and move into new positions to lead, manage, influence, coach and mentor others. – Outstanding skill.
  • CPD helps you to stay interested and interesting. Experience is a great teacher, but it does mean that we stick to what we have done before and remain in the proverbial comfort zone. Focussed CPD opens you to new possibilities, knowledge, and skill areas. – Outstanding skill
  • CPD can lead to increased confidence. – Good personality trait.
  • CPD contributes to improved quality of learning and sustainability of learning methods. This is especially true in specialised practice areas, which often prove impractical to monitor on a case by case basis. – Invaluable contribution to the teaching profession.
  • CPD gives you additional teaching tools that enable monetising your teaching skills.

Do not underestimate CPD for practising English teachers

CPD for practising English teachers is a career-long obligation for practising professionals.

There are many times when professional organisations, codes of conduct or codes of ethics require CPD. However, it is the personal responsibility of professionals to keep their knowledge and skills current at their core. By keeping current, we can deliver a high quality of service that meets the expectations of our learners and the requirements of the teaching profession.

That said, continuing professional development should be engaging and fun too. Sometimes it isn’t easy to find a relevant course that fits your other obligations. Sometimes, you are unsure of what you learned when you finish a course. Have you acquired the necessary skills, and will you apply them correctly in your work? Our online Trinity College CertPT courses for continuing professional development, written by teaching professionals, involve thoughtful online interaction, which helps resolve these issues.

The Trinity Certificate for Practising Teachers (CertPT) is a qualification that supports the professional development of English language teachers. The Trinity CertPT is for teachers to update, improve and enrich their professional teaching practice.

Ten good reasons why CPD is important

You entered your profession 17 years ago. It felt just like yesterday you received your degree, started applying for jobs and thought you could take on the entire world by yourself.

Has it turned out to be an exciting adventure?

If the first thing you ask in the morning (or evening) when you get to work is ‘Is it five o’clock yet?’, then the answer is a resounding ‘no’. But whose fault is that?

Don’t blame the company or the school; blame yourself for not participating in your continuing professional development, also known as CPD.

You think it’s not necessary at this point in your life. Got other things to do. Think again! There are plenty of reasons why CPD is important in every way possible – professionally and personally.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

1. It improves your job performance

Every job eventually becomes routine, but then this behaviour breeds complacency. When employees become complacent, their work is either uninspired or riddled with errors.

While it is understandable that you would eventually be bored with your position after 12 years, the business does not expect you to stand idly by. Instead, they will expect you to suggest CPD proactively, so you don’t allow mistakes to accumulate.

One of the benefits of CPD is that your job performance improves because of:

  • new skills learned from professional development
  • a rejuvenation in your career; newfound interest in this field
  • you want to apply skills you recently acquired
  • a desire for better pay and promotion.

These characteristics are common once you upskill with more advanced skills through additional education and training.

2. Hone and update your skills

Professionals typically determine that CPD saved their careers. They may have been stuck in a low-level position without career development until their winter years. They survived more by luck than anything else when the school or company went through fat trimming exercises. You are on unchartered waters if you refuse to hone and update your skills.

To understand this point better, put yourself in the company’s position. For example, would you want someone who still regularly uses the photocopier to make teaching material? Wouldn’t you prefer someone proficient in Powerpoint who comes up with engaging, colourful teaching material instead?

If you’re teaching English,  finding new teaching techniques is critical. Studying new methods and teaching strategies will keep you ahead of the game.

Learning should be a lifelong ambition, not something you do for a few years. Remember, the more CPD you do, the more current and valuable your skills are, the more you earn.

3. Boost your earnings

Many employees feel that they should continue getting paid for simply being what they are. But, sadly for them, that is not how the job market works. Instead, human capital, supply and demand, the relevance and utility of your skill base are what matter.

With professional development, you should see your earnings increase. You could accomplish this by getting new skills through CPD and adding a new accreditation to your CV or being in touch with the developments in your sector.

Let’s be honest: we work to put groceries on the table. If it weren’t for money, we would be relaxing near a lake, playing golf, travelling or just drinking ice cold beer.

4. Stay current and relevant

Great! You were on the cutting edge of technology in the 1990s when the internet was just getting started. You had a website, you participated in email marketing, and you even had a twinkle in your eye when you heard the iconic ‘You’ve got mail’ message. You were relevant back then. Today? Not so much.

Unfortunately, many of us eventually become irrelevant if we don’t do anything to stay in the moment. You become irrelevant when you refrain from finding a new skill, re-training, getting a degree in another subject, or developing your current crop of professional attributes.

Don’t be stuck in your glory days; try to enter the current year with skills that are in demand today – not 23 years ago. How to do it? CPD – continuing professional development.

5. CPD can open new opportunities for you

Unfortunately, many expect the door to open without pulling at the knob. Whether it is laziness or conceit, we wait for opportunities to be placed before us rather than try to seek them out and do what it takes to find chances to grow. How can you expect the universe to help you if you are afraid to meet it halfway?

The one primary outcome, and potentially the most important, of CPD is that you will start to witness an abundance of new prospects. There can be the head-hunter cold-calling you to finally advancing in the firm you’ve been employed by for the last nine years.

6. You stay interested in your career

Over an extended period, people just become disinterested in their careers. There could be different reasons for this dissatisfaction. They could be due to: burnout, disengagement, monotony and frustration.

Here’s the thing: just because your teaching job is not challenging, that doesn’t mean you need to sit on the sidelines going through the motions. Instead, you can take action to commit to your school or company but also go for reinvigorating your career by launching a plan of CPD.

7. Expand your social network

How extensive is your social network? No, I am not talking about the number of friends you have on Facebook or the number of followers on Twitter. Instead, I am talking about your existing social network. Your network should have industry contacts, phone numbers, and sources to connect you with the right people.

Before you know it, you’re going to be wining and dining with a whole host of professionals in your sector every weeknight.

8. Affirm your professionalism

Sure, you can tell everyone how professional you are. You can yell until you are blue in the face. You can cry about how good an EFL teacher you are or how great a secondary teacher you were in the ’90s. You can even add that you were dedicated to one company for 15 years. However, if you’re unable to take that extra step and partake in your continuing professional development (CPD), you may be unable to convey how much you love your work to the rest of the world.

Simply put, if you like your career so much, then why is it such a chore to sign up for CPD courses?

9. Contribute to the team

Suppose you begin to notice that more of your colleagues, particularly the new hires, are more up to date, resourceful and passionate than you are. In that case, it is a sign that you have nothing left to contribute to neither the company nor your team.

The importance of CPD is that you begin to feel better about yourself as you contribute to the workplace and don’t just sit idly by drinking coffee and complaining.

10. Enhance your public confidence

As soon as you started your career – 5, 10 or 20 years ago – you were on top of the world. You were as confident as the Bee Gees in their ‘Stayin’ Alive’ music video. But, as the years went by, you became less poised in your abilities and understanding.

One day, you might hit rock bottom – then what?

One of the best benefits of CPD is that you can be self-assured once again. It wasn’t that you were lazy or that you were not intelligent; it was the fact that you hadn’t gotten a new toolset in years. Did you know that using the same tools can result in wear and tear and dissatisfaction in the workforce?

We all know the importance of development, which is vital if you wish to be as confident as public speakers on TV or social media. How to develop self-confidence in public speaking takes a multipronged approach – from your eye contact with the audience to your use of humour. Confident speakers focus on clarity and conviction in their delivery and display the correct body language. They also focus on their audience rather than dwelling on their flaws and potential slip-ups.

The message behind CPD is simple. CPD makes you more confident, you increase your skill base, your relevance in the job market, and your professional standing. So give some serious thought to CPD and monetise that confident practising teacher in you.