An Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) is a tool helping your professional growth and expand your knowledge and skills. It is a process as well as a document that guides your professional development and reflects changes over time.
Your IPDP enables you to analyse your development needs, set specific annual goals and target opportunities to meet these identified goals. This achievement of your professional goals will, ultimately, benefit your students, school and your learning organisation.
An Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) follows a five-step process for continuing your professional growth. The process is ongoing, and includes:
- Self-Assessment (What are your current interests, knowledge and skills?)
- Set Goals (What would you like to learn more about?)
- Strategies (How will you do this, and what resources will you need to make it happen?)
- Timeline (How much time will you need to complete each goal?).
- Document (How to track your development through your accomplishments)?.
For teachers, a personal and professional growth process necessarily integrates the goals of the teacher as a professional with the goals of the school, division and region for better student outcomes. The standards, processes and tools used in the IPDP are based on the Teacher Competency Assessment (TCA) model which is organised around eight domains covering all aspects of a teacher’s job performance, as shown below:
- Understanding the Curriculum
- Planning and Assessment of Instruction
- Management of Classroom
- Effective Instruction
- Standards for Student Achievement
- Appreciation of Diversity
- Professional Responsibilities
- Student Outcomes
Each of the above domains has a number of indicators. Indicators are observable and measurable statements that provide evidence of the application of knowledge and skills in practice.
These Indicators may be visible during individual lessons or over the course of the year. In turn, the information can be used as an input to an individual professional development plan (IPDP).
Continuous self-assessment and reflection are central to a useful, effective IPDP. The TCA competency model for the teaching profession can and should be used for self-assessment and to identify areas for growth and further professional development. The TCA identifies what each Indicator looks like in practice at four levels of Performance as shown below.
The information taken from the individual TCA will be utilised in the formulation of the teacher’s Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) that shall also serve as input to the school- based capacity building of teachers.
One way to consider your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher is to respond to focused, guiding indicators related to effective teaching practices. Any indicators to which you respond at levels 1, 2 or 3 of performance may be areas for growth.
Remember that the TCA tool is not intended as an external tool for evaluation. This is an opportunity to be personal and honest in your assessment for self-improvement. You may wish to do this activity with a trusted peer or colleague to allow for additional discussion and reflection.
The professional development cycle consists of four phases:
- Conduct a self-assessment using the Teacher Competency Assessment (TCA).
- Develop professional development SMART goals for your IPDP
- Identify possible strategies and resources that you need to make it happen
Implement action plan