1. Take Advantage of Free CPD Opportunities
A multitude of online training courses are available to complete within every subject, even better the majority are completely free! These CPD opportunities allow you to enhance your subject knowledge, which is particularly beneficial when considering areas which you may deem as weaknesses. Perfect for evidence as a trainee or NQT, this demonstrates that you are proactive and enables you to feel confident when it comes to delivering this content within your lessons.
As teachers we never stop learning and capitalising on this time whilst you have it will allow you to return to teaching knowing that you have enhanced yourself and your proficiency as a professional. CPD is crucial when ensuring your skills are up to date, demonstrating credibility and commitment towards your role.
2. Network With Other Professionals
We are all in the same position and have an array of varying knowledge and expertise to share. Now more than ever is the time to engage with other teachers and learn from one another.
Twitter is an amazing platform to connect with those in the teaching profession and to stumble across ideas which you may have never thought of. Being open to sharing your resources can open many doors for you and will allow you to establish relationships with those in the #EduTwitter community. Experienced teachers can act as mentors and are open to answering questions and supporting you throughout your teaching journey. Nevertheless, whatever stage of your career, your ideas and opinions are valuable to others and can have a huge impact.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, however trivial they may seem, as this is the way to learn and improve. Co-operating and collaborating with other teachers can play such a pivotal role in broadening your perspectives and outlooks, proving a valuable way to develop and grow.
3. Reflect, Renew and Create
Taking time to reflect on your practice and the strategies you have implemented as an individual or within your department will enable you to identify areas that previously worked well, as those that could benefit from a revamp. Whether this be creating a new reward system, or adapting previous schemes of work and PowerPoints, this all contributes to improving teaching and learning experiences for yourself and your students.
Lockdown has seen many professionals producing incredible resources for when they return to teaching. Innovative ideas will reinvigorate and refresh your department, alongside inspiring and motivating pupils. Creating new concepts and resources will promote a love of learning, which can heighten engagement as students explore exciting and interactive tasks that they have not seen before.
Having the opportunity and time to look at units of work as a whole and understanding the bigger picture, rather than just individual lessons, allows you to sufficiently prepare for the year ahead. You will be grateful for this when you return to school, feeling organised and equipped with structure and long-term targets set in stone.
CPD – The Open Unversity, NGB for sports-specific courses.
Networking and sharing resources – Twitter, TES – Sport Specific – PE4Learning, Share Learn Teach