Education isn’t what it used to be. Between advances in technology, media consumption and the knock-on effect of COVID-19, teaching today’s students is a harder task than any other generation. As we look towards 2024, it’s clear that both the learning landscape and teaching methods will need to undergo a significant transformation if they’re to succeed; these CPD courses for teachers do just that.
Continuous Professional Development (CPD) has become a fundamental tool for staying abreast of new challenges. CPD courses equip educators with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in this ever-changing environment.
At Teach HQ, we recognise the challenges facing educators – the time and resource constraints, organisational pressures, and, of course, your desire to get back to doing what you do best: helping your students. That’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to becoming a trusted resource for educators wanting to enhance their skills and make a lasting impact in their classrooms and communities.
Whether you’re looking to hone your existing skills, embrace new teaching methods, or expand your educational horizons, Teach HQ is here to support you on your journey. As creators of CPD courses for teachers, we aim to address the current challenges teachers face, provide practical solutions, and make upskilling easier than ever before.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the most beneficial CPD courses for teachers in 2024. These topics are all incredibly relevant to the modern challenges faced by students and, by association, the teachers tasked with providing those students with an education. We’ll cover:
- Understanding the modern student
- Prioritising mental health in the classroom
- Supporting neurodiversity: ADHD & Autism
- Enhancing executive function skills
- Cultivating cultural awareness and inclusion
We’ll also share tips and resources for dealing with these topics, empowering you to work smarter, not harder, in your profession.
Understanding the Modern Student
Our world seems to be changing before our eyes, and so too are our youth. Today’s students are more connected to the world than ever before, for better or worse. They’re aware of global crises and current events, and while it has resulted in a generation more engaged with politics and social impact than ever before, the exposure has naturally impacted their sense of safety in the world.
Beyond academics, students also need emotional support. They are dealing with a lot, from awareness of pressing global issues to social issues and mental health challenges. This means they need schools and teachers to be safe and supportive places where they can talk, learn, and grow. Teachers are key in creating this kind of positive and understanding environment.
So, how can we, as teachers, stay up-to-date and ready to support our students in the best way possible? This is where continuous learning and development come in. CPD helps teachers to keep learning and growing in our profession, understanding new teaching methods, and getting better at connecting with our students. Here are four of the most impactful CPD courses for teachers you can take in 2024.
Prioritising Mental Health in the Classroom
Mental health is a hot topic today, especially when it comes to our youth and teenagers. Increasingly, we’re seeing that young people are struggling with their mental health, reporting high levels of stress and anxiety.
Studies have shown that events like the COVID-19 pandemic have had a serious impact on the mental well-being of students. Having experienced the pandemic during their formative years, many students carry the lasting effects of that stress, isolation and uncertainty. Those from low socioeconomic backgrounds are disproportionately impacted, as unhealthy lifestyle behaviours such as extended screen time, less physical activity and sleep disturbances coupled with pandemic-related parental stress.
But it’s not just global events that are causing stress. As we’re all too aware, social media plays a significant role in young people’s lives, and while it has it’s not without its positives, it can lead to feelings of anxiety, pressure and online bullying. Research has found that “greater social media use, nighttime social media use and emotional investment in social media — such as feeling upset when prevented from logging on — were each linked with worse sleep quality and higher levels of anxiety and depression.”
As teachers, we play an important role in supporting our students, not just in their learning but in their well-being too. The best way we can do this is by being aware of mental health struggles and learning how to support our students.
Actionable Tips for Supporting Student Mental Health in the Classroom
- Create a supportive environment
Make your classroom a safe, inclusive space where each student feels valued and accepted. Establish clear expectations and model respectful behaviour.
- Use positive reinforcement
Studies have shown that positive reinforcement yields better outcomes for students than negative reinforcement, yet many schools still use outdated systems that effectively shame students who are already struggling.
- Encourage open communication
Foster an atmosphere where students feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings. Try a ‘feelings corner’ or a suggestion box where students can anonymously share what’s on their mind.
- Incorporate mindfulness practices
Introducing mindfulness exercises such as deep breathing, meditation, or gentle stretching at the beginning or end of class is a great way to help students centre themselves and destress while also teaching them an effective coping skill for life.
- Promote positive relationships
Encourage students to build positive relationships with their peers. You can do this by organising group activities and team-building exercises to strengthen social connections.
- Teach stress-management techniques
Educate students on stress-management strategies such as goal setting and positive thinking. Incorporate these lessons into your curriculum or ask your school to provide workshops.
- Encourage physical activity
Physical activity has been shown to boost mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Encourage students to participate in sports and work short physical activities into your classroom routine.
- Be observant and proactive
As a teacher, you may spend more 1-1 time with your students than any other adult in their life. Pay attention to changes in students’ behaviour, mood, or performance. If you notice any concerning signs, help them get the support they need.
By implementing these strategies, teachers can support their students’ mental health and create a classroom environment that’s conducive to both academic and personal growth.
Teach HQ: Mental Health CPD Courses For Teachers
At Teach HQ, we understand the pivotal role teachers play in their students’ mental wellbeing.
That’s why we’ve crafted CPD courses focused on mental health, tailored specifically for educators. These courses provide a deep dive into understanding the emotional landscape of your students and equip you with practical strategies to bring that understanding into the classroom.
With the insights from our courses, you can offer an empathetic ear and a supportive space. It’s about fostering a classroom atmosphere where every student feels seen and heard and where their emotional health is as valued as their academic progress.
In your hands, these strategies become more than lessons; they’re lifelines for students grappling with anxiety or stress. And the benefits ripple outwards. By integrating mental health awareness into your teaching practice, you send a powerful message — you’re there for your students, recognising them as whole individuals with unique experiences. By showing your students that you care about them, not just as learners, but as people, you can make a world of difference.
Supporting Neurodiversity: ADHD and Autism
Understanding neurodiversity is a must for any modern teacher, both in terms of being able to identify the possibility of neurodivergence in their classroom and knowing how to best support students with and without a diagnosis. It’s for this reason that there’s a growing need for quality neurodiversity CPD courses for teachers.
While it may seem like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) are on the rise, people with these conditions have always been in society but have simply been living undiagnosed. It’s only due to increased research that professionals have established a better framework for diagnosis. In fact, a growing number of adults are now being diagnosed, having slipped under the radar in their own childhoods. With more refined assessment methods and increased general knowledge, students with ADHD and autism are now able to get the tailored support that they need to thrive.
ADHD and autism can sometimes overlap in how they present, with many traits overlapping, as you’ll see in the graphic below. Importantly, how they present can also differ from child to child. Girls, in particular, have long been overlooked as the presentation of these conditions is markedly different to the more widely understood traits shown by boys.
For teachers, the main takeaway is to remember that students with ADHD and autism may be wired differently, but that doesn’t make them any less capable of doing amazing things with the right support. They bring their own unique way of seeing the world, which is an increasingly prized skill that simply can’t be taught. With the right approach, every student has the chance to shine, and teachers who understand this can make a huge impact.
Tips for Teaching Students with ADHD or Autism
As educators, we need to adapt to the diverse needs of each student, both neurotypical and neurodiverse. Thankfully, creating an inclusive learning environment isn’t as difficult as you might think. Many of the solutions that benefit students with ADHD and autism can be used with your entire class.
The tips below aim to bridge the gap, providing educators with the tools to connect with and support all students effectively.
- Structured routines
Establishing a predictable and consistent routine helps create a sense of stability and security, which can be particularly beneficial for both ADHD and autistic students.
- Clear, simple instructions
Giving clear, concise and direct instructions helps students to comprehend and execute what is required of them.
- Positive reinforcement
Use positive reinforcement to encourage good behaviour and reward the completion of tasks.
- Sensory-friendly classroom
Many neurodiverse people struggle with sensory input. Aim to minimise loud noises, harsh lighting and too much distraction through busy walls and decorations.
- Use visual aids
Visual aids can help learners understand and retain information. Use charts, diagrams, and pictures to complement learning materials.
Implementing these strategies can help create an inclusive learning environment that accommodates the needs of students with ADHD and autism, supporting their academic and social development.
Teach HQ: ADHD & Autism CPD Courses For Teachers
Teach HQ recognises the need for teachers to be well-equipped to support neurodiverse students. That’s why we offer training courses specifically focused on ADHD and autism. These courses provide educators with the knowledge and tools they need to create an inclusive and supportive learning environment.
Through our CPD courses, you’ll learn about common traits of ADHD and autism, how they impact learning, and what strategies you can use to support all students, regardless of whether they have a formal diagnosis. We’ll also cover how to communicate with parents and work collaboratively with other professionals to ensure each student receives the support they need.
Enhancing Executive Function Skills
Executive function skills are the set of mental skills that help us get things done. These skills include managing time, paying attention, switching focus, planning and organising, and remembering details. For students, strong executive function skills can lead to success in the classroom and beyond. They can better manage their homework, participate in class, and work with their peers.
Executive function skills are not only essential for success in school, but as adults too, in our professional and personal lives. When someone struggles with these skills in what is termed “executive dysfunction”, it can significantly impact their quality of life.
As teachers, we may not have the ability to impact the underlying cause of executive dysfunction, but we can adjust our teaching methods to support students who are suffering.
Symptoms and Causes of Executive Dysfunction
Lack of executive function skills is becoming more commonplace in modern students. And while the causes can vary, the symptoms are clear. Poor time management, lack of focus, impulsivity and memory issues are all common signs. Left unsupported, this commonly results in a disruptive student with poor grades.
However, executive dysfunction is not a reflection of intelligence or willingness to learn. Rather, it’s a challenge to process and manage information and actions. Here’s a breakdown of some potential causes:
- Neurodevelopmental differences
Conditions like ADHD, autism, and learning disabilities can feature executive dysfunction as one of their symptoms.
- Mental health conditions
Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues can lead to challenges with executive functioning.
- Lack of sleep
Inadequate or poor-quality sleep can negatively impact executive functions. This is particularly prevalent in teens.
Chronic or acute stress can impair cognitive functions, including those responsible for executive skills.
As a teacher, it’s impossible to know whether the executive functioning issues you see in a student are a result of a few late nights or something underlying. However, what you do have control over is how you accommodate your students in the short and long term.
How to Teach Students with Executive Dysfunction
Whatever the underlying cause, there are strategies you can adopt in your classroom to foster a more conducive learning environment for anyone struggling with executive dysfunction. You’ll notice that many of these tips reflect the advice for teaching students with mental health or neurodivergence.
- Create structure and routine
A predictable routine helps students know what to expect, which reduces anxiety and improves focus.
- Break tasks into small parts
Large tasks can be overwhelming. Teach students how to break them down into more manageable parts, making it easier to start and complete assignments.
- Use visual aids
Tools like charts, diagrams, and graphics can help students plan and organise their thoughts. Use visual schedules and checklists to help students stay on track.
- Practice time management
Use timers and clocks to help students better visualise time and manage it effectively.
- Encourage self-reflection
Help students learn to evaluate their own work, identify areas for improvement, and set goals for themselves.
By integrating these strategies into your teaching, you can create a supportive and structured learning environment that encourages the development of executive function skills.
Teach HQ: Executive Functioning CPD Courses For Teachers
With the right training and strategies, educators can support students in developing better executive function skills. Teach HQ courses are designed to give teachers the tools they need to nurture these skills in their students. We cover a range of strategies and activities that can be easily incorporated into everyday teaching practices.
Cultivating Cultural Awareness and Inclusion
In today’s increasingly diverse classrooms, cultural awareness should be compulsory learning for all educators. Students come from a variety of backgrounds and bring different perspectives, experiences, and values. For educators, this means that brushing up on different cultures, religions, and customs is crucial.
Implementing an inclusive and culturally responsive teaching methodology involves more than just acknowledging cultural diversity; it means adapting your teaching to suit your cohort, encouraging inclusion and creating a class culture that values the uniqueness of each individual. Embracing this approach creates a supportive learning environment and prepares students to thrive in a multicultural world.
Strategies to Create a Culturally Inclusive Classroom
- Integrate diverse perspectives
Ensure that your curriculum includes diverse voices and perspectives. Use texts, materials, and examples that reflect the cultural diversity of your students.
- Create an inclusive environment
Make sure your classroom is a safe and welcoming space for all students. Use inclusive language, display diverse artwork, and celebrate cultural events.
- Be culturally responsive
Adapt your teaching methods to accommodate the diverse learning needs of your students. Be mindful of cultural nuances in communication, and be willing to adjust your approach as needed.
- Encourage open dialogue
Create opportunities for students to share their own experiences and learn from one another. Facilitate discussions on culture, diversity, and inclusion, promoting respect and understanding.
By implementing these strategies and taking advantage of Teach HQ’s cultural awareness courses, educators can cultivate a classroom environment that truly embraces diversity, promotes inclusion, and enriches the learning experience for all students.
Teach HQ: Cultural Diversity CPD Courses for Teachers
Teach HQ is committed to helping educators adapt to the changing demands of the profession and better support their students. Our cultural awareness CPD course supports teacher to promote inclusivity and diversity in their classes. Through this course, you’ll get insight into different cultures, understand the challenges students from diverse backgrounds might face, and learn how to create a welcoming and affirming learning environment.
Exploring Additional Teacher Resources and CPD Courses
At Teach HQ, we believe in the power of continuous learning and growth for teachers. With the educational landscape constantly changing, keeping your skills up-to-date is essential. Our courses are designed to support you on your professional development journey, providing you with knowledge and strategies to navigate the challenges of modern teaching.
We encourage you to explore our range of CPD courses for teachers, explore the topics that interest you, and take advantage of the upskilling opportunities that Teach HQ offers. Together, we can ensure that our classrooms are innovative, inclusive, and prepared for the future, fostering success for teachers and students alike.
Awareness of Safeguarding: Online Safety
The “Awareness of Safeguarding: Online Safety” course is an essential guide for education professionals teaching tools for online safety. This CPD course explains the evolving risks and challenges associated with the digital world. It empowers educators with the know-how to inform, instruct and protect their students effectively.
The course presents actionable strategies for promoting responsible conduct online. Through this approach, it makes online safety a collaborative effort between educators, students, and the wider school community. On completion, participants will have the skills to promote online safety within their educational settings.
The Impact of Social Media on Children and Young People
In “The Impact of Social Media on Children and Young People”, we dive into the psychological impacts of social platforms and how they can both challenge and benefit young users. Educators will learn how to foster a positive digital environment and navigate the complex landscape of online safety.
With a focus on promoting wellbeing, the course gives teachers the expertise to guide children in making smart, safe decisions online. By the end, participants will be well-versed in the latest social media guidelines and protective measures, ensuring they can confidently support students in the responsible use of these powerful communication tools.
Prevent Agenda Awareness in Education Settings
“Prevent Agenda Awareness in Education Settings” is a CPD course for teachers that helps to safeguard students from radicalisation and terrorism. Looking at the four Ps, with a focus on Prevent, it ensures educators can confidently recognise and report potential concerns. Additionally, the course emphasises the importance of communication, teaching professionals to engage sensitively with parents and the broader community.
With this training, educators will be empowered to create a secure environment in schools, preventing radicalisation and fulfilling their critical reporting duties effectively.
Navigating the ever-evolving landscape of education is no small feat, and as we’ve explored throughout this blog, staying updated and adaptable is key for today’s educators. From understanding the modern student’s worldview to prioritising mental health in the classroom, the role of a teacher is multifaceted.
Teach HQ offers a growing database of training courses that help you meet these challenges head-on. Our CPD courses for teachers are written by educators and updated annually to reflect the latest research. Each course is designed to help you better connect with your students and support their learning journey.
We believe that when teachers keep learning, they are better prepared to help their students succeed. And at Teach HQ, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Explore the courses highlighted throughout this article and make full use of the knowledge and tools available on our platform.
Take your professional development into your own hands and face the future with confidence.