Together, we can!

When continouing professional development (CPD) is so much more than updates in your field.

By Valentina Spyropoulou, Teacher Group 6, Multilingual Learning Specialist

In the last couple of months I had the honour to attend two fantastic events around, amongst others, multilingualism, multiculturalism, and diversity in education. The ECIS MLIE annual conference in London as an attendee and the first World Teachers Festival in Rotterdam, as a speaker. Being part of these events with different lenses, made me realise how much more continuing professional development (CPD) is, than just keeping up-to-date with your field of work. 

When someone is thinking of attending CPD and conferences, they normally think about the content, first. And of course, this makes sense. You do want to make sure that the workshops and lectures you attend are aligned with the work you do and the goals of your organization.

Willingness to learn more

But imagine this: you enter a room full of both familiar and non-familiar faces, everybody engaged in conversations with eyes sparkling from inspiration. Smiles and laughter because of the connections created amongst people from all around the world. Excited buzzing fills the room, everyone is happy to be there, and meet everyone.

People you met sometime online, people whose research and books you keep close to your heart and guide your practice, people who have been kind and generous enough to welcome you into their schools to show you their expertise and share their experiences and knowledge with you.

And as you navigate the room drinking your tea, taking sips slowly processing the information you digested in your previous workshop slot, people approach you and say: ‘ let’s do something together!’, ‘let’s get together to create…’ , ‘let’s visit each other…’

Languages visible everywhere, in the corridors, on screens, on blackboards with coloured chalk markers, in discussions… people sharing experiences within different contexts and cultures around the world, with eager curiosity, and willingness to learn more about anything different that sparked interest.

This hub becomes a hug to give you hope. To help you see the future of supporting diversity, languages and cultures with people so passionate and genuine, without competitiveness, without closed doors. Only open doors, honesty and helping hands holding each other in this journey. And all of these hands coming together to create a safe space for our children; to be the whole people who they deserve to be. To honour their languages, cultures, talents and skills.

Sharing knowlegde, supporting eachother!

Every CPD, conference, or DIPS meeting I have attended has made me feel incredibly grateful to belong to a community with one common interest: to ensure that children around the world receive the education they deserve and they are thriving through being their whole selves.

Inspirational speakers have spoken to my heart. Informal chats with people from schools around the world, as well as DIPS schools have given me so much food for thought.

One thing became very clear to me: we are a big, supportive community, ready and willing to support each other to move forward, to share and combine experience and knowledge moving towards a common goal: high quality education that honours the whole child, the whole colleague, our identities, heritage, and languages, and cultures; education that sees ‘different’ as an asset, an empowering tool to equip us to coexist peacefully and creatively in this world making positive impact. No competition amongst us. Just one big, supportive hug. One huge cauldron of love, wealth of knowledge and expertise, ready to serve its magic to anyone who needs it. People ready to share all their wisdom, happy to grab any collaboration opportunity, celebrate each other’s achievements, comfort each other’s struggles.

Together, we can!