CPD in Education Society Founding Committee – Session 2011-2012
President – Paul Campbell
Being a founding member sort of gets you involved by default! The B.Ed. Primary Education (Hons) course at Strathclyde has been outstanding. But as with any teacher education programme, it is simply impossible to cover absolutely every educational topic, curriculum component, resource or tool within the short space of time allocated. But also, it can’t always ensure a meaningful and sustained engagement with the wider education community. So for me, I saw a gap, and wanted to fill it.
Lead Vice President – Susan Liveston
Now in my fourth year on the B.Ed (Hons) course I felt that there were still areas with the course and within my practice that I wanted to develop and gain more knowledge in. I realised that taking part in CPD and helping to organise CPD is something that will be beneficial to me during my probation year aswell as throughout my teaching career. When Paul approached me with the idea of creating a CPD society I thought it was a great idea. I was glad to see that he and others on the course felt the same need for CPD. At an informal meeting it was decided that I would be the treasurer as I was already the treasurer of ‘The Tastebud Tempters’ (University of Strathclyde Baking Society). After helping to organise our first event which was very successful, an executive committee was created and I was made Lead Vice President and Treasurer of the CPD in Education society.
It is a great opportunity to be the first to hear about CPD events as all members are put on a mailing list; this will help to build up your CV as well as your knowledge and practice. Joining the society will give you the chance to have a say in the type of CPD that you would like to have i.e. behaviour management. There are a huge number of different people involved in this society including primary, secondary, B.Eds and Postgraduates and from all year groups; this allows collaboration between year groups aswell as between sectors.
First, I would like to enjoy my last year at Jordanhill (scary!) and do well with my major project. Secondly, I would like to learn (‘re-learn’) how to play the guitar and finally I would like to make the society a success and worthwhile experience for all students by organising and attending events which will give me the chance to meet and network with lots of people!
Vice President (Communications & Research) – Morven Skinnider
Vice President (Advertising) – Nicholas McMahon
I was blackmailed into joining the CPD in Education Society by the President, Paul Campbell….
No, but really, I am very interested in CPD; I like the idea that we are lifelong learners and can constantly expand what we know. Additionally, I enjoy the collaboration that is involved not only within the CPD in Education Society, but in CPD in general. We want the children in our classrooms to collaborate with each other to take them forward in their learning; I want to do the same by learning from other passionate individuals and groups who are interested in all different aspects of education and that can teach me something new.
My reason for other students joining the CPD in Education Society is simple – if it is going to make you a better teacher then you should do it. The CPD in Education Society will open doors for students, introducing them to passionate people who have something interesting to say about education and that will broaden your knowledge of educational issues. Why work alone when you can collaborate with others who are as passionate as you are?
My first aim for the year ahead is to give everything I can give into making my last year at university as worthwhile as possible. I am looking forward to getting my Major Project started because I am very passionate about one of the subjects, Art and Design and intrigued by the other, Philosophy with Children. I look forward to researching my ideas and then implementing what I have found on my next placement.
My second aim is to have a successful last placement in the upper school. I have only ever been in the upper school for one week and although it was a challenging week, it was enjoyable working with senior pupils in a primary school. This will be a change from the middle and lower placements I have been used to and will require a different outlook towards the reward and behaviour systems that I have been successful with in the past.
My third aim for the year is to successfully complete the British Sign Language course that I have started which will award me with the grade, Level 1 in British Sign Language. This will be a challenge as it is a 20 week night course that I will have to do alongside my final year at University; however it is a great opportunity to do something I have always been interested in.
Vice President (Education & Learning) – Holly Hamilton
I met Paul in my first week of first year! Since then we have worked together in sub groups for tutorials and last year I was involved in a workshop talking to prospective first year students who were at the university for interviews. I have always been aware that there are always new policies and practices in education and, as teachers, we can’t say that by having a degree our learning is complete. I want to ensure that I have a classroom of pupils, who are fulfilled learners by offering imaginative and creative experiences. This CPD society is exactly what I wanted to be part of – a way of developing my knowledge and skills by taking responsibility for my learning.
This is a brilliant opportunity for students to meet other people within the profession at events which will be attended by teachers, academics, advisors and high profile people from education within both Primary, Secondary, BEd and PDGE levels courses.
This is a society for students, run by students who know what works for us!
What are your 3 big aims for the year ahead?
Well firstly, and most importantly, I am looking forward to graduating. To be honest, this has been my main aim for at least the last six years. I really want to make the most of my last year at Strathclyde and embrace all the extra opportunities that the University, and especially this society, offers.
Another aim would be to ensure I have a positive and worthwhile experience during my final placement, as this is the last opportunity to hone my teaching skills before being given my own class. I am hoping that this will give me the confidence to feel prepared for the next step of being a Newly Qualified Teacher.
Finally, I am determined to pass my driving test before my NQT year starts. For those of you who do not know me, this involves driving a specially adapted car and sitting a test twice as long as everyone else!
Executive Committee Member – Fiona Telfer
I knew that as a BEd student I needed to do more than attend classes and complete assignments if I wanted to stand out as a teacher. I was also aware that it is not possible for the University to teach us everything we will ever need to know to be teachers in a modern day classroom where practices and policies are continually changing. As a result, when I heard about the Continuing Professional Development Society I knew this was the perfect opportunity to get involved with extra-curricular activities to enhance my awareness of new and innovative ideas in the Education Sector. I spoke with Paul Campbell the President of the Committee and I expressed my interest in being a member of the Committee. After a few meetings and many emails later I was elected to be on the Committee. I am very excited about the experiences and opportunities that will come along with being part of this society.
Well as I said earlier by simply attending classes and completing the compulsory work you will not be exposing yourself to networking and collaborating with a wide audience of Educational Academics. If you become a member of this society you will be able to work with a variety of academics, teachers and advisors. In doing so, you will gain a better understanding of new policies, practices, resources and ideas that you can implement in your classroom. It is through this networking and sharing of ideas that will make you a teacher who stands out from the crowd. Therefore, if you are keen to have a wider knowledge of issues facing education today, you are interested in finding out about new practices and resources to use in your classroom and you are interested in making new contacts in the field of Education then this is the society for you!
As I have heard that 2nd year is one of the toughest years then my first aim is to pass by working hard and being committed to my studies!
On a more serious note I am determined to attend as many events that will enhance my Professional Development as possible, for example, Teachmeets and other Conferences where I can get ideas of new practices and ideas to trial in my classroom. This will help me to develop many ideas on how to engage children in many different situations.
Thirdly, I am keen to trial new ideas while on Placement. I want to use all that I have learned throughout first year and my time spent in India this summer to ensure I am as effective a teacher as possible. I am also keen to get involved in all that goes on in my placement school to allow me to gain experience in running clubs and committees which will further enhance my skills as a teacher.
How did you get involved in the CPD in Education Society?
During my first year of studying Primary Education, we were advised on the importance of Continuous Professional Development and encouraged to attend and take part in as many extra-curricular events which are relevant to the profession as possible. Through applying myself to this and meeting other students who also see the importance of CPD in Education, I became involved in organising Strathclyde’s first TeachMeet aswell as attending as many of the extra events provided by the University as possible. At Strathclyde you are offered many opportunities and it is important to grasp them while studying here.
This coming year for me will be B.Ed. 2. Throughout this year I aim to continue playing an active role in the Society by helping to organize and attend the events. I am also keen to attend CPD events outwith the University. I aim to put my all in to facing the challenges brought by the second year of the course as I have heard it is going to be a tough one! I also aim to develop my music skills, especially by getting back in to playing the piano as I think this will be an asset for future placements.
Executive Committee Member – Rea Chisholm
How did you get involved in the CPD in Education Society?
My dear friend Nicholas is always thinking of me and suggested to Mr President that I would be an ideal member of the society. After hearing what the society was all about, I decided it would definitely be a worthwhile society to be involved with to prepare me for future placements and employment.
Starting at Strathclyde University and coming straight from high school was a riveting though daunting experience. I have always shown a keen interest in extra-curricular activities, and have aimed to push myself and be the best that I can. “Nothing is impossible”. After settling into B.Ed 1, I felt that in order to become a successful teacher more was required than simply attending daily lectures and tutorials. I was then asked to be a representative to the B.Ed course to potential new students. This opportunity appealed to me greatly, and everything started from there. The year progressed and through my studies and extra CPD events, I established a confident and hard working mind-set, for myself and between my peers. Through representing the B.Ed course at Strathclyde University, I met the president Paul Campbell – who is one of the hardest working people I think I will ever meet! Collectively, I found the B.Ed 3′s to be an inspiration that sparked an even stronger enthusiasm and passion to do well, not just by ‘teaching’ but also in Education in general. Working together, with both B.Ed 1 and B.Ed 3 made me realise that we all had a good hard working ethic and shared a common interest – education. It is this ‘common interest’ that I look at, and do not see it as a chore, or a group I have to attend, but one that I truly enjoy and can develop as a person and a professional.
In my second year of the B.Ed, I aim to first and fore most engage and succeed with my studies. I hope to put in as much effort as possible and at least pass! First year was a good learning curve and I feel more prepared in how to manage my studies this year. Secondly, I aim to continue to develop as a professional. Through becoming more involved with the CPD in Education society and also in other areas. The reality is that in one year – the B.Ed 4’s will be gone, and we will be playing an even greater role. It will be great to assist and watch the CPD society grow and develop. Lastly, I aim to try a few more methods on placement this year. With our focus being upper school, it will be interesting to try different techniques and compare them to those used with the early years. I want to be more creative this year and think ‘outside the box’. With the majority of schools in Scotland just recently beginning the transition to Curriculum for Excellence, I aim to develop my practice and learn from others. In my view Curriculum for Excellence is an outstanding curriculum, and I think when understood properly it’s potential for pupils and teachers is extremely exciting.
Having been asked to take part in a workshop that would introduce new B.Ed students to the course, this required collaboration with both peers from my own year group and with other students in B.Ed 3. Throughout the workshops, the students involved enjoyed working with each other and with the potential new B.Ed students and often had conversations about furthering our own knowledge and skills, and generally developing as student teachers. I found that there was a lot to be learned from others’ experiences and opinions. It therefore made perfect sense to express my enthusiasm to Paul when he suggested setting up a society that would provide opportunity to look further into Continual Professional Development. Beginning my second year at Jordanhill now, I am becoming more and more aware of the importance of furthering my own knowledge as far as possible- especially in this area – as well as partaking in extra curricular activities, in order to make myself the best teacher I can possibly be.
This society, first and foremost, provides opportunity to meet new people with similar interests and an enthusiastic outlook towards teaching. It is a great way of expressing your opinions on current educational topics and learning through others’ experience and practice. The society doesn’t aim to just host meetings – we are also keen to plan events that are open to anyone involved in all areas of education, not just those in the society. I think this is one of the best opportunities a society can provide as it allows you to explore others’ ideas out with your regular peer group and therefore provide more varied and valuable attitudes toward teaching practice – and especially in this area of professional development, it is essential. At some point or another, there will always be areas of teaching and education you wish you could learn more about – the CPD society and related events are a gold mine for discovering what you are looking for.
Quite simply, I aim to pass second year! Definitely an “easier said than done” scenario – but I intend to focus and work hard this year to get through the year as stress-free as possible.
Secondly, I really look forward to becoming an active member within the CPD society – once some of the B.Ed 4 Executive Members have gone on to finish their degree, the rest of the team will be taking over responsibilities – so I fully intend to be as involved as possible in order to successfully contribute to running the society and organising events when they move onwards and upwards to better things!
Lastly, I aim to make an effort to incorporate both what I learn in university classes and what I learn from partaking in the CPD society into my 2nd year placement to make it as successful and enjoyable as possible. At the last Strathclyde Teachmeet event organised by the CPD society, I gained a lot of insight into different tools that can be used in the classroom, and I am positive there will be a great deal more of this learning that will enhance my teaching practice.