Why Professional Development Is Important For Teachers
No matter how much you love it, teaching can be hard work. And isolating. And challenging.
Teaching can also be rewarding. And stimulating. And fun.
How you view teaching is often influenced by not only the students and curriculum that you’re currently teaching, but also by how you feel about yourself and your profession.
Professional development is incredibly important for teachers – more so than for many other professionals – because of the unique challenges teachers face. Subject material seems to constantly change. More diverse student populations. Technology that’s creeping (or charging) into society and student’s lives. An increased emphasis on standardized testing. School districts with limited budgets and resources.
And this might be the greatest challenge of all: You, the teacher, are often the only adult in the room. The constant, collegial interaction that most other professionals enjoy on a daily basis just isn’t available to you. That’s one of the primary reasons professional development plays such a critical role in teachers’ success.
Below are other reasons that professional development is important enough that it should be something you incorporate into your personal goals.
Develop And Nurture Relationships With Other Teachers
Every teacher starts out with relationships with other teachers in the same school, but if you want to extend beyond this – for friends, mentors, or career connections – professional development is a great way to do this. The people you’ll meet in an online course, half-day workshop, or weekend conference can potentially be part of your support system for years to come
Hone Your Teaching Skills
From the first day in the classroom to the final day before retirement, most teachers are continually refining their teaching skills, often by trial and error. Professional development offers a more structured way for you to improve your teaching skills.
Through professional development for teachers, you can:
- learn more about your subject matter (whether it’s science, math, or another subject)
- learn new ways to personalize learning
- learn methods for how to assess your students’ comprehension
Improve Your Classroom Management Techniques
All it takes is one student to disrupt a class and throw off the delicate group balance, potentially for an entire semester or year. Or for a group of students to throw off the most well-intentioned lesson plan. Query retired teachers, and many will attribute their success in the classroom (and their longevity) to their ability to manage the classroom. You can learn this skill in the “school of hard knocks,” or you can take professional development courses or workshops that will teach you effective techniques and exercises that you can implement immediately.
Master New Technology
Technology is coming into the classroom at a rapid pace, whether you introduce it to your students or they introduce it to you. Often, it can seem like technology is a disrupter rather than an asset, but there are a myriad of ways in which you can use technology to your advantage. You can use tech tools, websites, and apps to help create lesson plans, engage students, organize yourself, perform assessments, and much more. For many teachers, learning new technology isn’t necessarily intuitive and doesn’t come easily. Rather than trying to muddle through it on your own, you can take a professional development course or workshop that emphasizes or includes the latest technology in teaching.
Move To The Next Pay Scale
Professional development can pay off for teachers, literally. In many school districts, you can earn more as you gain years of experience, and you can also get an increase in pay as you earn professional development credits. Because your retirement benefits as a teacher are based on your level of pay throughout your career, professional development that you complete today can potentially benefit you for years to come.
Education 4 Equity
At Education 4 Equity, we’re pleased to offer 100% online professional development courses for teachers. We have 3-credit, 2-credit, and 1-credit courses that are available as professional development credits or graduate-level credits. Each of our professional development courses have also been approved for LAUSD salary points, through the Los Angeles Unified School District.