About a year and a half ago, I wrote a blog named Invest in yourself tipping other novice teachers on how to pursue professional development. I find myself now unadvising- if that is even a word- my colleagues to not to over pursue professional development.

The thing is, I became so obsessed with the idea of professional developmet that I started to burn out. An advertisement on a scholarship is published, and I find myself automatically scrolling down to see the requirements and start applying; A webinar on technology application, and I sign up; a competition of material writing, and I am in.

That is not right! I think that "professional development" is the new must-have-item, that we feel guilty if we do not run after each opportunity. I feel enslaved to the idea that I do not even know how to be selective. Do not get me wrong it is great that we learn how to become better teachers. Yet, too many webinars, articles, conferences, scholarships, ELT courses, etc. is leading us nowhere. Unless you are selective, you may end up Jack of all trades, as I feel now.

In an answer, I suggest we start specifying goals, select procedures and tools then pursue it. We can start every academic year with a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) set of goals. There are three main ways to do so: 

1- On language level. For example, you might want to enhance your academic writing. Thus starting an ELT blog or writing for magazines should be a good start.

2- On teaching level. For example, you might want to work on a certain approach you heard about. Hence, experimenting with the approach and applying some in-class action research.

3- On a specialization level. For example, you might be particularly interested in assessment or technology applications. Therefore, attending webinars or MOOCs in the field of specialization you wish.

Useful links to help you with CPD:




What do you think?


Strange but true. We have a pile of CPD avenues that we wish to follow each and everything. But it's very much needed to be selective and need oriented or else we end up perplexed.

Thanks for posting this Fatima. I agree that we can overdo things sometimes! A balance is definitely what is needed.

I must say I know several teachers (including myself) who were or are still crazy about professional development, just like you say: "as soon as we see posted a course or a workshop we would enroll", without thinking if it is really helpful for us.
Thank you for the advice, we need to keep in mind our real goals!

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