By writing action plans you can ensure that you do not become complacent and stand still as a teacher, but that you continue to develop your practice further.
There are many models and templates available to help with developing an action plan, but ultimately there are specific elements that are common to all of these: you need to set yourself targets, identify the next steps you need to take to achieve these targets and decide on success criteria that will tell you that you have achieved your target.
Working as a teacher means that you will have to consider a wide range of complex factors that are at play in your classroom. Therefore setting targets may not be as easy as it seems initially. You should consider all areas and aspects of your work, such as subject knowledge, lesson planning and preparation, assessment and feedback, behaviour and classroom management, teaching, for example. The targets that you set need to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and relevant, time-related), for you to be able to work towards them in a systematic and meaningful way.
Once you have decided on your target you will then need to consider which actions you need to take in order to achieve this target. If, for example, your target relates to subject knowledge, then reading relevant course books may be one way of improving your subject knowledge. For other targets you may need to attend training sessions or ask colleagues for help. It does not matter which measures you need to undertake to achieve your target, you just need to be sure that you know how to achieve your targets, and if you do not, then you need to seek help from others.
The only way to be able to judge whether or not you have achieved your target is to measure your achievement against success criteria. Considering subject knowledge again, it is not enough to “know more”, as this would be too vague and is not measurable.
You can download this template for an action plan: