The Role of Emotion and Empathy in CPD Delivery

CPD Teacher training

Professional development has traditionally been viewed through the lens of enhancing skills and acquiring knowledge. But in recent times, the pedagogical community has awakened to the idea that the most impactful Continuing Professional Development (CPD) also resonates with the emotions and empathetic capacities of educators. 

This is not just about CPD training; it’s also about understanding the human element of education.

Emotion is the undercurrent that shapes every aspect of an educator’s experience. From the euphoria of witnessing a young person’s ‘lightbulb’ moment to the weight of administrative burdens, a teacher’s journey is rich in emotional landscapes. For CPD training to be truly transformative, it must not only impart knowledge but also recognise, validate, and engage with these emotions.

The role of CPD, then, becomes two-fold:

  • Skill and Knowledge Enhancement: The traditional objective of training to equip educators with the necessary tools and methodologies.
  • Emotional Support and Validation: Recognising the emotional toll teaching can often have and providing strategies for resilience, reflection, and self-care.

Building Bridges in Professional Development

Empathy in CPD is more than just understanding the challenges educators face. It’s about delving deep into the shared experiences, joys, and struggles of the teaching journey. When professional development is delivered with empathy, it fosters:

  • Relevance: Courses and workshops resonate more when they’re tailored to the unique experiences and challenges of the educators involved.
  • Trust: Educators feel understood and valued, creating a safe space for genuine dialogue and growth.
  • Inspiration: Reconnecting teachers with their ‘why’, the original reason that led them to the profession in the first place.

At humanutopia, we have always centred our CPD training for teachers on this empathetic approach. Led by our founding director, Graham Moore, we strive to not just ‘get’ young people, but also to truly ‘get’ the educators who dedicate their lives to them. It’s this deeply human connection that enables our CPD sessions to leave lasting impressions, challenging educators to reconsider all the wonderful aspects of working with young people.

For CPD to create waves of positive change within the educational setting, it needs to go beyond mere training. It must embrace the emotional journeys of educators and foster an environment of empathetic understanding. By doing so, CPD becomes more than just a tool for improvement—it becomes a catalyst for profound, meaningful change in the lives of both educators and their students.

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