CPL keeps Veronica coming back

A rural head teacher’s dedication to English has seen her attend every Secondary English Stage 6 Conference in Sydney since the Centre for Professional Learning began conducting them in 2013.

Making the annual trip to Sydney from Yarrawonga, Victoria, Veronica McNaught, a Head Teacher English across the border at Finley High School, sees tremendous value in returning to the conference to gain important ideas and information she can take back to the classroom.

Ms McNaught cites the passion of the presenters and their high levels of English knowledge and expertise as the reason she attends CPL English conferences each year.

“The presenters are so enthusiastic; they make me feel I’m doing the right things and I’m leading the faculty in the right way,” she said while attending the CPL’s Secondary English Stage 6 Conference – Let’s enrich and enjoy HSC English in March.

“We nearly always get a band 6 and I feel [the conference] is a major contributor to that.”

Demand to attend the March conference was so great that a second date was placed on the calendar to enable a further 200 English teachers to participate in the professional development.

The conference may have been running for seven years, but Ms McNaught noted there is always something new being presented and plenty to learn by networking with other attendees. “The presenters ask what participants want,” she said. “There are always new ideas. It’s the connections with other people who you meet on the day; where they can help me and I can help others in return.

“Networking with English means we are so blessed to have the leaders we have in CPL and ETA. Their sense of collegiality and sharing means others are comfortable to do so as well. It’s very important, as a collegial group, to know and value that.”

Upon returning home from the CPL English Conference, Ms McNaught seeks to implement ideas from her professional learning, ranging from teacher professional development to student support. Additionally, she utilises a range of CPL resources, including JPL articles and podcasts. “I drive for an hour every day and listen to the podcasts in the car,” she said. “I’ve printed off the articles and made a collection so others can access it.”

Like Ms McNaught, many members provided feedback to CPL to indicate they appreciated presenters’ expertise, enthusiasm and passion for English, and valued the sharing of resources and ideas. The Craft of Writing and multimodal sessions were identified as being most popular, with many attendee comments praising school presenters who shared their practical expertise and assessment experience.

The next CPL conference, Teacher Librarian K-6 Conference, will be held on Friday 13 September, 2019, at the NSW Teachers Federation auditorium in Surry Hills, with online application at cpl.asn.au now open.