YOU have done your degree and received your teaching qualification.

Now with plenty of classroom experience under your belt you know you’ve a handle on your profession. If you’re really switched on, however, you won’t stop here.

You’ll have your sights set on further education – not for your pupils but for yourself. It’s called continuous professional development and it isn’t just about brushing up on your chosen subject.

It’s also about giving you the skills to really progress your career.

It might involve giving up Saturday mornings to attend seminars or waiting behind after classes to help with timetable setting or liaise with the PTA. If you’re a fresher, you may think reaching the top is impossible but it’s achievable if you do it step-bystep and show by your commitment to continuous professional development you have what it takes.

Primary teacher Lisa Clark from Glasgow is just about to start pushing her career to the next level. “Since my eldest child was born I’ve worked on a job-share basis but now the youngest is ready to start secondary school I’m concentrating on my career. “I’m glad that even when they were little I always made time for activities that would improve my work as a teacher and my prospects.”

Home economics teacher Marie Johnston from Edinburgh achieved her goal of becoming a guidance teacher through additional work outside the classroom.

And since she led her entire class of higher pupils to A grades in this year’s exam, art teacher Debbie Saunders from Stirling has been asked by her head teacher to analyse what she did to achieve such outstanding results and deliver a talk on it to her colleagues.

“Every one of the pupils in my class had serious issues, but we managed to work through all their difficulties and keep focused on getting the best possible result,”

she says. “It was a learning experience for all of us and a very rewarding one too and made me realise it isn’t just enough to know your subject – you have to develop as a person yourself if you are going to be a successful teacher.”