CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
"You can only give what you have" by Dex Amoroso
It is argued by some that CPD program is ineffective and teachers were complaining about burdensome cost and time on teachers. While this argument can be true, I believe that CPD is integral in ensuring that teachers continue to keep their knowledge and skills current in the field of education. In this essay I will state my reasons for my view and propose solutions to the concerns of teachers.
The most compelling reason for holding to my view is that CPD for teachers are essential based on the premise that “you can only give what you have”. For example, challenges in education are rising with expectations from policy makers about what teachers can do to meet them constantly increasing. As a result of this program, teachers would be able to meet these demand, provided that the concerns of teachers would be addressed.
Here’s my solution. Each year, the teachers should be given the autonomy to choose which training courses they want to attend. The training will be subsidized by the government as long as they are relevant to their jobs. What constitute “relevance” will be determined by immediate superior or principal.
There is no one-size-fits-all CPD program. It needs to vary, however, it should stimulate reflection and thought for the teachers to identify solutions and good practice for their own teaching situations rather than PRC dictating them these are ‘what you need’. There is no single ‘correct way’ to teach.
There may be PRC or DepEd guidelines which teachers have to adhere to, but out in the real world teachers should take risks and experiment to see what really works with their students. If teachers’ expectations of their students are often not realistic – they either underestimate or overestimate – how much more the PRC.
Anyway, PRC/DepEd should consult the teachers. What helps them to continue growing as a teacher? What have been their most successful professional development experiences? And what forms of professional development have been less effective?
Lastly, training courses should be done during their working period. It means DepEd should provide a substitute teacher while the permanent teacher is on training so that classes are not cancelled. Vacation time is for resting / relaxing. So yes for training but not on vacation period! If the government really care about teachers and students, they would facilitate teachers being the best they can. Just like you wouldn’t trust a doctor who doesn’t keep up to date, you shouldn’t trust a teacher who doesn’t either.
In conclusion, I agree with Henry Ford that anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. This is because there is always more to learn and ways in which we can continue to improve our teaching. Even my mother who will be retiring soon would agree with me that after x years in the profession, it never ceases to amaze her how much more there is to learn. Given this situation, it is recommended the existing CPD program must be reviewed and improved accordingly.