Professional Development for Teachers: Is It Worth the Time and Money
If most teachers were honest, they would admit that more than once, they’ve asked themselves if professional development is worth the time and money.
Teaching, more so than most other professions, encourages professional development, sometimes requires it, and often rewards it. Let’s look at why investing in professional development can pay off, on a variety of levels.
Professional Development Can Fatten Your Paycheck
One of the biggest benefits of professional development is that it can increase your take-home pay now AND your retirement benefits later. In many schools and districts, teachers have the ability to earn more as they complete approved courses and/or graduate level courses. And the more they earn while they work, the higher their retirement benefits. In that sense, professional development is an incredible investment that can pay off for years to come.
Professional Development Can Boost Your Confidence
Teaching requires a wide range of skills, from subject matter expertise to classroom management, cultural sensitivity to the ability to personalize learning. It’s not fair to assume that all of those skills can be acquired through a bachelor’s degree program, or even years of experience. As students and classrooms change (and sometimes subject matters, too), professional development can offer “tune-ups” to help boost your confidence and effectiveness.
Professional Development Can Help You Love Your Job More (Or Again)
As a teacher, with a heavy workload and even heavier demands to produce high test scores out of your students, it’s easy to become disheartened. Professional development can help you find the joy in your job again – through a new teaching method, different practices, or more effective strategies.
Professional Development Can Build Your Network
One of the greatest advantages of professional development is that it can expand your network as you meet other teachers and administrators who have new ideas and fresh perspectives. If you take online courses or attend workshops or conference out-of-state, you have access to educators from across the country, each of whom has expertise (whether they’re instructors, speakers, or participants). This professional network, derived from your commitment to professional development, can serve as a support system for years to come.
Make Professional Development Work for You
Professional development will seem more like it’s worth the time and money if you purposefully choose your courses and conferences. Be intentional in what you sign up for and what you hope to get out of it.
Education 4 Equity Online Professional Development Courses
At Education 4 Equity, we have a wide range of online professional development courses for teachers. We offer 1-credit, 2-credit, and 3-credit online courses for teachers that qualify for graduate credit and have been approved for LAUSD salary points through the Los Angeles Unified School District.