Skip to main content

Our guiding philosophy

CPD College – Shaping Great Teachers

Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his or her teacher.

Teaching is one of the most complicated jobs today. To do it right demands a broad knowledge of subject matter, curriculum and standards; teaching & learning strategies; enthusiasm, a caring attitude, and a love of learning; knowledge of discipline and classroom management techniques; being equipped with assessment of and for learning strategies and a desire to make a difference in the lives of young people, to name but some of the requirements. With all these qualities required and more, it's no wonder that it's hard to find great teachers.

To become and remain a great teacher is a journey, requiring a commitment to life-long learning.

At CPD College we want to shape and empower teachers to be the very best that they can be, to strive daily to deliver the very best learning outcomes for each and every child. Our teacher motto is – “EVERY CHILD, EVERY CHANCE, EVERY DAY.”

To this end, our courses thoroughly cover the knowledge, understandings and skill sets required to be a great classroom teacher. We offer teachers a choice of certified courses that are of the very highest quality and all are approved by the Department of Education & Skills in Ireland, a country that ranks high on the international PISA scales.

What makes a great teacher?

At CPD College we believe that great teachers have a certain collection of characteristics, and it is our mission to inculcate, imprint, foster and grow these in every teacher. 

These characteristics, skills and traits include:

Subject Mastery: Great teachers are masters of their subject matter. They exhibit expertise in the subjects they are teaching and spend time continuing to gain new knowledge in their field. They present material in an enthusiastic manner and instil a hunger in their students to learn more on their own. We have a suite of courses covering literacy, Mathematics, History, Geography, Science, Music, Physical Education etc. – all designed to bring teachers the very latest subject approaches & techniques, knowledge & understandings, creative ideas & practical resources.

Teacher Planning: Great teachers have clear, written-out objectives; they are thoroughly prepared and organised. Effective teachers develop clear long term year schemes of work and short term fortnightly plans which are comprised a suite of lesson plans that have a strong repeated structure in order to give students a clear idea of what they will be learning, what the assignments are and what learning outcomes are expected. Assignments have explicit learning goals and give students ample opportunity to practice new skills.

Assessment & Standards: Great teachers have high expectations and implement ‘Assessment for Learning’ and ‘Assessment of Learning’ on a regular basis, often lesson by lesson. It is integral to what they do in order to ensure that children are reaching their fullest potential and achieving the standard.

Effective Classroom Management: We outline, explore and detail the many skills and techniques to better manage both children’s’ behaviour and the physical classroom space & classroom routines.

Quality Questioning Techniques:  We detail the ‘arc of questioning’ that should be part of every classroom lesson and develop teacher expertise in the skills of effective questioning techniques. As we like to tell our teachers, ‘the test of a great teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer’.

Teaching and Learning Strategies:  Appropriate and relevant teaching strategies are an integral part of every great lesson.  We ensure that great teachers have the detailed knowledge across the range of known strategies in order to make the most appropriate choices for each individual lesson. We outline and detail all 150 of them!

Differentiation: This is an approach to teaching that attempts to ensure that all students learn well, despite their many differences. Differentiation permeates everything a great teacher does, as they think about the diversity of their students and try to honestly meet their individual needs. 

Versatile Tools & Techniques: Great teachers are well equipped with an arsenal of diverse tools & techniques that they can tap into when required. Across our courses we impart many techniques e.g. 25 ways to establish prior knowledge, 25 things to do with students who are not paying attention, 25 ways to increase lesson
participation, 25 ways to guide learning and maintain momentum, 25 ways to determine if they learned anything etc.

Facility with Technology: Where possible, great teachers utilise the very latest technologies in order to be even more engaging, exciting, efficient and effective in what they do daily in the classroom. At CPD College, our courses in iPads, Interactive Whiteboards, PowerPoint and Internet Resourcing, equip teachers with the pedagogical, operational and application perspectives to effectively deploy each for teaching and learning.

And finally, throughout our courses we highlight and emphasise the need - 

  • To set high expectations for all students and to provide additional/differentiated support to struggling children / underachievers.
  • To form strong relationships with their students, show & demonstrate that they care about them as people, to be warm, accessible, enthusiastic and caring. 
  • To communicate frequently with parents through conferences and regular written reports home. 

We know that great teachers derive the very best from every student. “The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate “apparently ordinary” people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: it is in making winners out of ordinary people.” — K. Patricia Cross

Here at CPD College, through our intensive short courses, we equip ordinary teachers with the knowledge, skills and insights to be ‘Great Teachers’. We look forward to welcoming you to your chosen course.