Published 8th March 2017

If you’re a newly-qualified TEFL teacher, you’re probably raring to get into the classroom and make some English-learning magic. This is awesome because experience is the best thing to help your teaching, but just because you’ve finished your training doesn’t mean that you still can’t develop your skills.

CPD, or continuous professional development, is an important part of any TEFL teacher’s career. Some schools will offer regular CPD workshops as part of staff training; others, though, won’t. If you find yourself in a teaching environment which does not offer much in the way of teacher training, you might find you need to be pro-active and organise it yourself.

Why should you be thinking about CPD?

  • CPD helps you get out of teaching ruts by giving you teaching ideas.
  • CPD keeps you updated on the ever-changing field of TEFL and language learning.
  • CPD informs you of other people’s opinions and viewpoints.
  • CPD gives you insight into theories of language learning.
  • CPD will make you a more knowledgeable teacher.

How can you get involved in CPD?

  • Set aside an hour a week to read TEFL-related blogs.
  • Subscribe to a TEFL magazine, like IATEFL Voices.
  • Enrol on an online course, like FutureLea or Coursera.
  • Take part in online conferences.
  • Observe other teachers in your school.
  • Communicate with other TEFL professionals, through platforms like #ELTchat

We understand that as a new teacher you may find yourself solely focused on getting to grips with being in the classroom and being an effective teacher, and even when you have more experience you may find you don’t have time to do anything besides plan lessons and mark essays.

Finding time for CPD is essential to your development as a teacher, though, and so it makes sense to try and find the time to do it. Even if you can only dedicate a small amount of time to it, put it in your schedule and be consistent. Soon it will become a habit and you will be reaping the benefits in the classroom.