Teachers TV is a dynamic resource, tailored specifically to the needs of teachers and other school staff, but how can it work for you and your school?

We may not always make the best use of it, but Teachers TV is an immense resource for CPD in schools. This week, we take a look at just some of the ways in which CPD leaders might start to use Teachers TV as a tool for development for whole schools, departments and faculties and individuals – and it’s not just for teachers either! We also explore the state of child mental health and look at some of the support that exists for teachers in this all-important field.

Quote of the Week “Nothing is realistic or unrealistic – there is only what we think about any given situation. We create our own reality.”  Susan Jeffers Practical Tips Making the most of Teachers TV It’s an amazingly dynamic resource, tailored specifically to the needs of teachers and other school staff, but how much use does your school make of Teachers TV? Its potential is huge and those who are converted rate it highly as a time-saving and highly inspirational professional development tool.

So how can you use it for maximum benefit in your school? Adrienne Jones, Manager of Teachers TV Regional CPD Advisers, is keen to convey the potential use that CPD coordinators can make of the channel. ‘Teachers TV is very large,’ explains Adrienne. ‘But it’s important not to be daunted by the enormity of it. A cooking analogy is a useful one; if you only ever cook basics without exploring other tastes your diet will become habitual. If you are willing to try out other tastes, in bite-sized chunks, you will expand your culinary skills and broaden your experiences of food. Teachers TV is very big so you need to approach it in manageable chunks.’ To get into Teachers TV in your school, try these ideas for maximum CPD potential:

  • Use Teachers TV via the internet; it’s by far the best way of accessing it.
  • The name may refer to teachers only, but Teachers TV is for the CPD of all school staff.
  • Think about using Teachers TV as stimulus material in the first five minutes of a staff meeting. This can help to develop professional dialogues and ideas sharing.
  • Use the material as imaginatively as you can, to suit the needs of your school.
  • Consider using extracts from Teachers TV to illustrate points in presentations, for example within PowerPoint.
  • Keep in mind the fact that just about anything you are likely to be focusing on in your school’s CPD priorities will have been, or is soon to be, covered on Teachers TV. Video material is incredibly powerful as a CPD tool, particularly for improving the kind of skills required to offer practical, workable support.
  • Teachers TV can be used to support individual virtual learning environments with key programmes and clips downloaded onto teachers’ laptops for personalised CPD.

Think of Teachers TV as an external support for the development of CPD within your school, which can lead to whole school and self-applied CPD. It is ‘reality’ TV in perhaps the best sense of the word! It has huge potential as a facilitator of professional learning. How you use it is up to you.

Find out more

  • Teachers TV can be viewed here
  • There is a specific portal for CPD here
  • Read about Teachers T associates here

Issues and Information Child mental health

Alarm bells are ringing in the field of specialist child mental health services. According to a survey by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, these services have actually worsened in the last seven years. Specific knowledge about child mental health is arguably an essential dimension of a teacher’s toolkit but it seems that too often this aspect of working with children is marginalised. Little time is devoted to ensuring sufficient training for recognising and helping to alleviate child mental health issues which affect well-being at school. In supporting the professional development of school staff in this particular area, these websites and organisations may help:

  • Read about the lack of staff awareness of child mental health issues here
  • Read about good practice in 14-19 student mental health here
  • Young Minds has dedicated space on its website to help professionals support the mental health needs of young people. Click here for more information.
  • The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health seeks to support the psychological needs of children and young people. Find out more here.
  • The Mind website carries an extensive selection of factsheets and information for those working with young people.Click here for more information.
  • The Every Child Matters website carries advice on child and adolescent mental health services. Click here for more information.

This e-bulletin issue was first published in December 2007

About the author: Elizabeth Holmes qualified as a teacher at the Institute of Education, London and is the author of several books specialising in the areas of professional development and teacher well-being.