CPD as Creative Professional Development

Earlier this year I presented at SOVa-Grade Teacher Training Day in Kyiv. 

The title of the session half-mysteriously said ‘Professional Development: Reflect-ivities and Creat-ivities‘ and the description promised the following: ‘We will look at a variety of ways to develop professionally, especially post-certificate and diploma, and discuss how to keep our boats afloat.’

Here are my slides for this presentation

You will see that I am using the responses to the Discussion Questions offered by generous PLN via Twitter and Facebook.  

Here is a piece of my session handout (yes, a long listicle!)


Five Thoughts to Share

  1. I was prompted to actually publish this post a couple of days ago on Twitter, when my ELT colleague and friend referred to herself as ‘a pro-solitude person with a bunch of unclassified interests [in her professional development], and that she was not sure how a possible interview with her would fit ‘the streamline PD scheme [in ELT]’. My response was this: ‘My favorite are non-streamline ways of PD’ (besides, I thought of this post sitting in the Drafts on WP)

    I wish I had been closer to the participants during the session

  2. I had a chat on Facebook messenger with a freelance ELT colleague who runs his own blog with lesson plans for teachers and works hard to develop his own courses. When I invited him to join our Reflective practice Group he responded with a long passage about the waste of time at conferences for teachers where topic and sessions are often the same, and it is hard to find something new, people promote courses and books, etc. When we clarified that we were talking (writing) about different things we agreed that his opinion (possibly) reflected the attitude and assumption some other teachers may also hold. Which again reminded me about the ‘Creative PD’ idea.
  3. A week after the session I met a teacher who had attended it. She came over to chat about various things, and then said (quote): ‘You know why I liked your session Zhenya? Because it proved me that I am on the right track!’ ‘On the right track’ would be an idea I was not meant to share, at the same time it showed me that many ELT teachers are looking for alternative kind of PD.

  4. I was very happy with the title for this session where ‘C’ was used for ‘Creative’, not ‘Continuing’ or ‘Continuous’, still remaining ‘CPD’.
  5. Two months after the session I met another attendee and we chatted about a possible event to organize in the city we are living in. She then said that she really liked my session (about CPD) but… she does not even remember what the topic was, and/or what ideas were shared. I thought this would be a nice point to share in this post, as (to me) it shows that there is very little power in a single session, and that perhaps a conference presentation needs to offer some practical ideas for teachers to apply, not philosophy or beliefs.

    Discussion in Progress

    Other posts from my PLN-ers about their CPD you may enjoy reading:

What would you answer?

About Zhenya

ELT: teacher educator, trainer coach, reflective practice addict https://wednesdayseminars.wordpress.com/.
This entry was posted in Trainer Reflections and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to CPD as Creative Professional Development

  1. lizziepinard says:

    Thanks Zhenya, I enjoyed looking through your slides and looking at CPD through that lens. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marc says:

    Thanks for the link, Zhenya. While I value the chance to be creative in my CPD and actually across the whole teaching process, I am maybe not so sure that creativity can be taught. Certainly, it can be encouraged and maybe that is a catalyst for development of creativity. Perhaps what we need is just the space and time to try things out and reflect on why or how it worked or not.


    • Zhenya says:

      Hi Marc, thank you for this comment (it is taking me longer to get back and respond, catching up!) Hm, an interesting idea about encouraging creativity versus ‘teaching’ it. I think there are things that can’t be taught at all, as they can only be ‘learned’. Culture is an example of it, to me. Creativity can only be consciously developed, e.g. by offering tasks for divergent thinking, working with metaphors and images, drawing a comic (hint), etc.
      Always good to be in touch!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sandy Millin says:

    Hi Zhenya,
    I’d love to see that listicle! 🙂 Thanks for sharing the slides – it seems like a really useful talk. I like the idea of sharing your thoughts connected to the talk too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zhenya says:

      Hi Sandy, thank you for reading. If you send me a reminder at zhenya dot polosatova at gmail dot com I send the list to you.

      I am enjoying your Trainer Development posts a lot. Love NILE, too, lots of great people working there 🙂


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