I don’t know for other districts but throughout my years of attending courses conducted by PPD (Education District Office or Pejabat Pendidikan Daerah), CPDs (Continuous Professional Development) are mostly academic-oriented. I understand the need to improve the school or district’s average of exams but this common practice is not holistic enough and doesn’t address the social and emotional skills of teachers. And we wonder why some teachers take things personally when students misbehave.
How many of us have only been exposed to classroom management strategies only during uni but seem to have never come across it again when we’re finally in service? How about the in-service courses that we attend? Are they mostly academic and pedagogy oriented? If we give excuses like – ‘We’ve learned that already in uni. why wanna go back to it?’ Well, we’ve also learned pegadogy and what not in uni but courses related to that area are still being conducted as part of in-service training. So what is actually holding us back? Mindset?
I’ve been reading this book-
‘Habits of Highly Effective Teachers: The Ultimate Guide to Practical Behavior Management’ by Marie Amaro
I have also read this book a few years back-
‘Teaching with Love and Logic: Taking Control of the classroom’ by Jim Fay and David Funk
The second book has totally changed my perspective on student behavior and I’ve learned to do away with taking things personally when students misbehave. Apart from mastering pedagogical skills, I think this is also an essential skill for us to master. We’re dealing with people after all which requires us to be aware of our emotions and learn how to effectively regulate them.
Reading these two books has got me comparing the CPD that we have with those overseas (the books are in the US context which I think makes it more crucial for us to have a CPD on this issue that is catered to our local context). The books constantly mention conducting workshops on behavior management as well as the SEL for teachers. Having to come across this I thought – ‘Why don’t we ever have that kind of workshop? Why are we too focused on academic aspect but never the teachers’ social and emotional skills?’ As teachers are also known to have experienced stress and burnout, it is all the more pertinent for us to have this kind of workshop going around.
I understand that there are many CPD courses online that we can take but what I’m suggesting here is to create a CPD narrative and culture that is more holistic, that not only touches on academic/pedagogical aspects but also that addresses social and emotional aspect for teachers. And the way for us to do that is to have an already existing and formalized institution to conduct those courses. It’s for everyone’s benefit after all.
Whoever is reading this, please suggest something to your respective PPDs. Reading this alone won’t spark changes. At least for me, I’ve reached out to the right person.