Professional Development Plans for Teachers

If you haven’t come up with a professional development plan for yourself, now’s the time!

If professional development has been at the back of your mind – or is always on your mind – start following through on your goals by coming up with a plan.

Professional Development Plans: What Do You Want To Learn

The best place to start is by deciding what you want to learn. Do you want to learn more about the subject matter you teach? Or a new area that interests you? Or general teaching skills, such as classroom management, restorative justice, or personalized learning? Or a combination of all of the above? Pick a few topics, and this will give you a good starting point.

Professional Development Plans: How Do You Want To Learn

Once you know what you want to learn, the next step is to figure out how you want to learn. You could go back to school and take on-campus or online courses from a university. You could attend professional development workshops. Or you could take professional development courses online. When deciding how you want to learn, think about what best fits your schedule and your personality. For example, workshops offer great opportunities for networking, and online courses provide great flexibility.

Professional Development Plans: What Do You Want To Earn

How much time and money you devote to professional development might be based on how much you want to earn as a teacher. In most school districts, when you earn a certain number of professional development credits, you move to the next pay tier. The faster you earn professional development credits (and get a bump in pay), the longer you earn a higher rate.

Over the years, these “incremental” pay raises can add up to significant amounts of money. For example, in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), every time you earn 14 salary points, you move to the next pay level. Teachers in the LAUSD who quickly earn the maximum number of salary points (98 points), can earn an estimated $400,000 more than their peers without salary points. And, these teachers retire at a retirement base that’s 50% higher!

Professional Development Plans: 1-Year, 3-Year, 5-Year

To make sure that you set realistic goals (and don’t expect too much or too little of yourself), it can be helpful to come up with 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year professional development plans. By creating three separate professional development plans, you can focus on short-term goals and long-term goals. As you begin to complete professional development classes, courses, and workshops, you’ll also get a better sense of how much you can complete and what you enjoy the most.

Education 4 Equity Professional Development Courses Online

At Education 4 Equity, we offer 1-credit, 2-credit, and 3-credit courses for teachers that are 100% online. All of our online classes are approved for LAUSD salary points (and may be eligible for credit in other school districts as well). We’ve also partnered with Brandman University to offer graduate-level credit for teachers, so that you can apply the credits toward an advanced certificate or degree.