I confess I don’t know where this came from, but someone had asked why they wanted to go to a CPD event on a Saturday. The CPD in question was PrimaryRocks Live 2017. Except the event isn’t CPD in the traditional sense. A little disclaimer here: I am one of the group who organised the event but I would go even if I weren’t.
When I think of CPD, I think of the courses you are asked to attend because they are in line with the school development plan. This is important of course and helps the school but does it always help me as a teacher to improve? I’m not so sure. The events are usually very expensive and held at lovely hotels and golf courses. They feel very formal often being led by consultants though while ‘experts’ have not been at the chalk face for some time.
The PrimaryRocks event was guerrilla CPD. By teachers, for teachers. With a few exceptions, all the workshops were led by practising teachers and SLT. However, it was more than the workshops. The Event has a collegiate feel, with egos left at the door. For me it was as much about the people as it was the workshops. A chance to meet the people I have connected with on Twitter.
Many worthy conversations about the education landscape and pedagogy were happening over coffee and sandwiches or in the pub afterwards. Catching conversations as we moved between sessions were punctuated with “who did you go and see?” or “X was great, I’m really glad I went to see them!”
As I sit on the train home, a little tired and hungover, I keep smiling to myself about all the great people I met and the educational conversations I had. I know that I am back at work in the morning and have plenty of work to do tonight. But do you know what? I don’t care! Being part of this weekend will send me back into work with a multitude of new ideas to try.
Who would want to go to CPD on a Saturday? Take a look at the hashtag #primaryrocks and see! There are so many enthused teachers and school leaders who are already asking when the next event is?
While we wouldn’t want everyone to be working all weekend, teachers are starting to realise that if they want to develop themselves they have to grasp the nettle of sorting their own CPD. Many of the best events for teachers to develop themselves are either free or in the tens of pounds. Teachmeets are a great way to get involved.
It doesn’t matter which event you go to (find one that fits your needs). Get involved or run your own event.
Who would want to go to CPD on a Saturday? Me (even if I did lose my coat) and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Thank you to all the wonderful people I met.