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Self-Management and Personal Development


We are not always secure in our ‘identity’, particularly when there is some challenge to its integrity. What is central as the basis for professional and personal development is the willing acceptance of the self. The self has an existence with distinctive traits or characteristics and is related to your identity, a basis for your self-esteem, self-confidence, self-respect and self-regard. Self-affirmation is important for personal success. Irrational and negative beliefs are damaging. The belief that you should be liked by everyone for everything, or that you can be highly competent in all activities is irrational. You should not think there is a problem when things do not go as you want, believe you can necessarily have significant control over the future, or that external events or other people determine your happiness. There is always the opportunity to remake the past and not be trapped by the belief that something that once affected you always will. If some obstruction has stopped your progress, you could interpret this obstacle as irrational and impossible to challenge, or you could work round it.


There are stages that many people go through when starting a new job. The initial excitement is accompanied by remembering what you are missing from the last job, in particular the security. In coming to terms with the scope of new job, there may be questioning and self-doubt about your capacity to succeed. You will be trying out new ways of working, as you gain confidence in your performance and grow into the job. On entry into a new role or a new environment you will need to recognize the need to understand and manage new networks and relationships. In teaching it is common to explore the interview process with those who have not been offered the job. It is particularly important, however, for those who are appointed to understand what were the strengths that resulted in their being offered the job and areas where there may have been concerns if these can be accessed.


In recognizing the competencies that have to be managed it is important to distinguish between professional developments, that is, occupational role development; staff development which is about development in the particular school context; and personal development, which is the development of the whole person. Waters (1998, p. 30) makes similar distinctions arguing that the ‘change of self by self’ has to be recognized as the only basis for profound change. This is about ‘changes in self-awareness’ which has not been a major focus of teacher development. The focus has been on learning new technical skills – how to implement the numeracy hour, how to teach the new GCSE syllabus.


Depending on your career aspirations, and your focus on people development, you may wish to consider membership of an organization such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) which provides its members with a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Record and Development Plan.


In this book you will be encouraged to explore outside the educational context. Here you are asked to compare Threshold Standards with an American model based on research. We do need precise definitions of effective or accomplished teaching, and these are emerging. The Hay Mere Research on Teacher Effectiveness uses a very different approach. It is suggested that you evaluate how fully as a teacher you match up to the five propositions of accomplished teaching. These are based on research which is not the case with standards in the UK.

AI is one of the biggest tech news. We are still only in the early days of the development of AI. As the technology becomes more sophisticated, it will be applied to further develop tech-based tools, such as training machines to recognize patterns, and then act upon what it has detected. It can develop your best business times idea and you can succeed in your life goal.


Hopson and Scaly defined the key assumptions about self-development 20 years ago. They have been refined to provide a basis for your personal and professional development.

1) Each person is a unique individual worthy of respect.

2) Individuals are responsible for their own actions and behavior.

3) Individuals are responsible for their own feelings and emotions and their responses to the behavior of others.

4) New situations, however unwelcome, contain opportunities for new learning and growth.

5) Mistakes are learning experiences and are seen as outcomes rather than failures.

6) The seeds of our growth are within us. Only we ourselves can activate our potential for creativity and growth.

7) We can all do more than we are currently doing to become more than we currently are.

8) Awareness brings responsibility and responsibility creates the opportunity for choice.

9) Our own fear is the major limiter to our growth.

10) Growth and development never end. Self-empowerment is not an end to be achieved but a constant process of becoming.

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