Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Years Resolutions. AKA, my CPD plan for 2015

New Years Resolutions are a terrible idea. I made a resolution years ago never to make resolutions again. They seemed like just a way to say things that sounds good to your friends, then trail off sometime in mid-January and feel guilty about until you forget you ever made them sometime in February or March.

But it isn't New Years anymore, and I'm not planning a new running regimen or to cut red meat out of my diet. This is decidedly nerdier.

My current job puts me in charge of professional development and training for the teaching staff at IH Beirut, and because I am starting the year off with a redesigned continuous professional development (CPD) scheme for our teachers, I've been very aware of the whole notion of planning and implementing a plan for oneself to improve.

I've never really had a focused CPD plan for myself. At IH Prague I jumped through all the CPD hoops easily because I just happened to be on that path already without ever having consciously decided it would count towards professional development. I was required to complete three tasks by them, and I believe I completed at least four times that number (IH CYLT, IH LAC, DELTA, attended four conferences, spoke at all four (including three new talks!), gave a monthly development session, did a research project for my MA....I'm not sure when I found the time to learn Czech and make some friends!)

Now, my job in itself provides ample opportunities for development without me being extracurricular about it. I've moved into academic management and teacher training for the first time in my career, and have found challenges and excitement all along the way. Also, a reaffirmed respect for my former academic managers. However, with my new CPD plan for the IH Beirut staff, I feel it would be hypocritical if I didn't come up with a CPD plan of my own for this year. One that includes things that don't already fall under my job description or existing plans.

That means, that although I am already planning on speaking at IATEFL Manchester, tutoring on my first IH CAM course and applying to be a CELTA tutor for IH Beirut this summer, I cannot count these towards my three goals.

So, with that in mind I am setting myself the following goals:

  • Blog more often! 
    • I am setting myself a weekly reminder in my work calendar to write a blog about something (anything!) to get into the habit - but I will count this one a victory if I manage to get 20 new posts in 2015, not including any blogging I do for conferences like IATEFL.
  • Publish to an international ELT Journal
    • OK, this one is a bit ambitious, but I feel good about trying for it. I may come to realize that I am aiming a bit too high, but I have collected enough experience and done enough research for my MA or my DELTA that I think I genuinely have something to contribute to the international academic world of ELT. Their editors will be the judges, I suppose.
  • Complete the IH TTC Online Course 
    • One of the options available to the teachers for their own CPD is taking an IH World Organization Training course through the Online Teacher Training Institute. Because I am increasingly involved in teacher training, and because I have enjoyed the IH courses I've taken in the past, I've decided to give the OTTI a whirl of my own with the Teacher Training Course. 
I hope this goes well, at the very least I have the three people who read this blog (including my mother) to silently judge me when this is still the most recent post to my blog in March ;).

What are your CPD plans for this year? If you have any please let me know via comments so I know you exist! 


  1. I totally enjoyed reading your thoughts. Unfortunately, I'm in confusion about my plans for the year so I couldn't share even if I wanted to. Anyway keep going it all sounds exciting!
    Good luck!

    1. Thanks Melen@, it's good to know someone is out there. :)

      Good luck with your own plans for the year!