Time and money are exceptionally valuable in schools. Ultimately there is no easy way to find time for professional learning. The research is clear that effective CPD is very powerful; therefore CPD will have to be prioritised over some other things to ensure enough time is available.
By being creative with cover, timetables and, on occasion, there are some options for making this easier. The following resources may give some ideas.
Network Tool: Making Lesson Study Work – this resource on how to make Lesson Study works includes some guidance around making time that can be applied to many aspects of professional learning.
Blog: Hornets and Butterflies – some reflections on teacher workload by Joe Kirby on the Michaela Blog.
Meeting times are often a way to ensure that professional learning is maximised within school. Most whole school and departmental meetings should include a teaching and learning and developmental focus. A lot of information can be shared electronically, whereas it is difficult to preserve time for collaboration and sharing of practice.
- Departmental or Faculty meeting time is often the most useful time for discussing and engaging with subject knowledge or subject specific pedagogy, rather than whole school meeting time which is often focussed on more general pedagogy.
- Departmental meeting time can also be used to consolidate, reflect and embed learning from previous CPD time.
- Meeting time should be prioritised for collaborative planning and/or peer observation, rather than more administrative tasks.
- Observations should always be developmental, rather than judgemental to maximise professional learning.
This article explores meeting time and the role of the middle leader in further detail.