One of my biggest passions has always been professional development. I have been a pretty ambitious person who has worked hard to reach the heights of Headship in my early thirties. 

I can honestly say that as a young teacher I seized very opportunity to develop my capacity as a teacher. I went to every course possible. Yes, a sad but true reflection of the fact I love learning and empowering others to learn. 

I am proud to say I have attended numerous RTUNI summer schools. I have enjoyed a wide range of courses, developed my professional network and become a better teacher (and now a better Head teacher) because of the training opportunities offered to me. 

In our education system we are facing austerity cuts but denying teachers the opportunity to develop the opportunity to learn from experts and the chance to share good practice is for me a step too far.

I’m thinking no one making these decisions read the OCED report 2013 section 4 on teacher appraisal?

It referred to a new strategy for teacher professional development from the department and I guess it is clear from the loss of RTU summer school, the depletion of CASS and the lack of a devolved training budget for schools that there isn’t one yet. (I’m very happy to be corrected on this if I’m wrong!)

We need professional learning for our teachers. I know some are benefitting from trusted colleague networks and learning communities. I know some are looking externally for training but it is expensive and school budgets are being tightened with great rigor. I know some who have ideas to move us forward…#niedcamp

So teachmeeters and teacher tweeters of Northern Ireland, it’s time to unite. Stand up for our profession, let’s get #niedcamp off the ground. We can all moan about these cuts but we are where we are. The bottom line is that our pupils suffer if we aren’t on top of our game. 

There are numerous people on twitter and through teachmeet Belfast who I’ve learned a considerable lot from. 

I’m sure we can do something! 

We tell and encourage pupils frequently to take risks in their learning, now I think we need to take a wee risk for our own. 

It’s not so long ago that I started a NI teach meet notion with a tweet! 

So @mrmalcontent I am in!! Who is with me? 

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