There was an interesting conversation on EYtalking on continuous professional development, (speaking of which I must get better at Twitter!) there are many ways as discussed to nurture a culture of professional development other than the classroom. Also staff have different learning needs and styles.
Supervision itself is a form of improving and impacting on practice. Taking photos of good practice and sharing ideas in the team is particularly helpful to progress as a practitioner. Having said that, ther is nothing as effective as an inspiring study day with a motivating speaker. Staff meetings are a great chance to share the ideas initiated on training days and working out how they can be implemented in our daily childcare sessions.
Regular reading of articles that relate to our work can be shared, something I am finding Twitter really usefull for (thanks to Laura Henry @LauraChildcare for introducing the thought on a training day!) I am encouraging my staff to follow early years this way as it has usefull updates and links to professional blogs.
The training I find that has the most impact on our practice is our annual team training. The two Pre-Schools join together and we have a trainer in to inspire us. Because the training is delivered to all staff, there isn’t the problem of diluting the impact through trying to disseminate information. Everyone is on board, and we agree to try new pedagogy in our daily routines with the children. Last year it was the “plan-do-review” in HighScope pedagogy. A huge change in our routine, leaving some of us taking a huge leap of faith. I have to say, my staff prepared well and we were supported by the trainer as we set up the new process. that’s a whole other blog!
Professional development doesn’t just take one form or directive. We learn from each other and seek out good inspiring people to help us improve. Just one more thing, in Early Years…never stand still!