Thank a Teacher Day 2024: Beyond Every Lesson Teachers Continue to Learn 19 Jun 2024

Written by Dr Steven Berryman FCCT CTeach, President of The Chartered College of Teaching

Teachers deserve the space to continue their own learning

We become teachers for a variety of reasons; for me, teaching felt a natural profession as I loved learning. At school, my arts teachers were the teachers that stand out for igniting my love and subsequent choice of study. They were seemingly unending in their love of their subjects and were rich in suggestions of where to take my own artistic interests. They were boundless in their generosity, giving their time with such ease to support me when I found coursework challenging, and offered advice with a genuine care for my success. What energised me the most from these wonderful teachers was their own quest to learn and discover; in lessons, they regularly shared their curiosities and recent learning. This made our lessons a shared community of learning.

Teachers are always learning. Teacher education places considerable demands on graduates as they navigate learning new knowledge in various educational domains to enable them to be impactful teachers. But learning to be a teacher is much more than reading research and being instructed in the ‘how’. Learning to teach involves the progressive development of our craft, and the cultivation of subject-specific skills (as necessary) to enable impactful subject teaching. Beyond the initial stages of our education as a teacher the journey continues. We engage with regular continuing professional development, a mixture of regulatory and statutory learning alongside professional development to enhance our own needs and the more general developments of our colleagues. Every year we teach new students, some arriving with additional needs that necessitate professional learning. Our subjects grow and evolve and keeping connected to our evolving subjects and disciplines will be necessary learning too.

The learning as a teacher is boundless, like the generosity of my arts teachers when I was at school. At the Chartered College of Teaching, the professional body for teaching, we seek to promote and support that continued development as a teacher and leader through Chartered Status routes. These routes enable teachers, leaders and mentors to be accredited with Chartered Status; a mark of their professionalism and expertise. As a member of the pilot cohort of both the Chartered Teacher (Leadership) and Chartered Leader routes, I continue to recognise the vital professional learning these programmes afforded me. I enhanced my ability to engage critically with evidence and research, I can reflect on my practice and that of others and I can design an appropriate study to illuminate aspects of my work to improve the outcomes for the children I get to teach. Chartered Status is a distinctive programme that demands much more than participation; successful participants are required to reaccredit every three years and continue to demonstrate their commitment to the professional principles that underpin the status.

In 2023 the College launched Research Champions. The Chartered College of Teaching Research Champions play a crucial role as liaison between the Chartered College of Teaching and their school. They serve as advocates for the College and actively support their colleagues in engaging with Chartered College of Teaching resources and content, with the primary objective of promoting ongoing professional learning and adoption of evidence- informed approaches within their school context. Alongside champions we enable settings to achieve a Research Mark, demonstrating their commitment to research-informed professional learning and practice.

The Chartered College embodies the best of our profession in cultivating a love of professional learning; professionals continue to champion their own practice and that of others through continued engagement with their own needs and sharing their work with colleagues. Teachers deserve the recognition of space and resource to continue to learn and develop their capabilities and foster their own curiosities and interests. As you thank a teacher this year, remember that beyond every lesson teachers continue to learn.

Dr Steven Berryman FCCT CTeach

President, The Chartered College of Teaching

@steven_berryman

Written by Dr Steven Berryman FCCT CTeach, President of The Chartered College of TeachingDr Steven Berryman is an arts and cultural educator contributing widely to music education. He is the current President of the Chartered College of Teaching (2022 – 2024) and holds a variety of non-executive director roles, including school governance. Steven is one of the first Chartered Teachers and a Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching.

 

National Thank Teacher Day is taking place on Wednesday 19th June 2024. It’s the perfect opportunity to express your gratitude for the incredible teachers and support staff who make a difference every day in schools across the country. Join us in celebrating their dedication by sharing our assets to spread the word and sending a free, limited edition personalised e-card to that special educator or support staff member. It’s a simple yet meaningful way to say “thank you” for all they do.