“SO I BELIEVE YOU ARE CHARTERED NOW?”
Janet Devoy writes about her CTeach experience and why you should join the Chartered Teacher Programme programme
“So I believe you are Chartered now?” asked my Uncle Alan at our annual summer party this year. A warm, proud feeling resurfaced as I pondered on his question and on the previous eighteen months, culminating in my recent graduation ceremony with many other chartered teachers from the pilot cohort.
Despite having no support financially or professionally from my school senior leadership team and governors, I embarked on the seemingly solo journey of becoming a chartered teacher with the invaluable support of my family’s time and patience. What I discovered was what I had been yearning for-a huge community of like-minded people, passionate about education, demonstrating through their actions a love of learning, to go where no teacher had gone before (in this country anyway) and be pioneers, in the sense of taking professional development into their own hands. For once, I was able to control the professional improvements in my knowledge and pedagogy from educational evidence, rather than attempts through a quick fix, sticking plaster that might improve data or outcomes of an inspection forced on me through school CPD.
Recently, and unrelated to educational research, I have been reading, ‘Becoming,’ by Michelle Obama and these extracts I feel resonate with some of my reasons for ‘becoming’ a Chartered Teacher:
“Do we settle for the World as it is, or do we work for the World as it should be?”
I was already probing, reading and searching, in my own time, aspects of educational research and I wanted to make a real difference to my own practice. There were plenty of times I have been told through either in house training, performance management and appraisal things that were meant to improve my practice, but which were counterintuitive, contrary to my reading, and, rather cynically, were generally futile attempts to please Ofsted. It has sickened me that throughout the last ten years of teaching that teachers were marked for greatness and others persecuted for not and I needed the evidence, the clout and a community to fight back. This is what becoming Chartered has meant to me, because I could not and did not want to settle for the World of education as it was and I needed to feel I was changing things for the better even if it was only in my own classroom. Becoming Chartered gave me opportunities to control what I could because, after all, the only thing you can change is yourself.
“Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result. It’s vulnerability that breeds with self- doubt and then is escalated often deliberately, by fear.’ Was I a good enough teacher? A thought that followed me day in day out. My data derived performance targets and appraisal often swelled my self-doubt and compounded my vulnerability through deliberate fear tactics and ignorance. Well, gaining knowledge about data, reliability and validity through modules of the CTeach programme gave me the confidence to assess the landscape of data with stronger knowledge and make realistic assessments of numbers and figures that were being used to judge me and my ability to teach.
By becoming a Chartered teacher I gained community, confidence, collegiality, control, passion, power and knowledge. The process of becoming a Chartered Teacher has been a game-changer.
Visit the Chartered Teacher page to find out more or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Early-bird rate for the programme closes 2nd December