I Teach, so Why Do I Need Professional Development?

The very nature of being a teacher is learning. Every day, you learn something new when your learners look at something in a way you hadn’t previously considered or when you learn a new fact from a different textbook that you incorporate into your curricula. Learners don’t stop learning when they leave school and enter the workforce, and neither should you.

Pedagogical theory and best practices are constantly changing. Just take a look at the way that teaching has changed in the last 25 years or so since computers and the Internet started to become more a part of everyday life. Teachers incorporate interactive whiteboards, YouTube videos, 3D virtual models of the human body, and more to better explain concepts. To properly use the technology to best benefit learners, teachers had to learn how to use it themselves and to be willing to experiment with new ideas in the classroom.

Professional development is essential if you’re going to meet the educational needs of your learners. The world is changing fast, and so are learners’ expectations of what their education should look like. Employers need new skills to be taught so that children leave school ready to jump into their first jobs with the knowledge and abilities they need to be successful.

Another benefit of professional development is that you, personally and professionally, benefit as you are learning new ideas and tools to use with your learners. Any job can get boring if there is never any new challenge to try to conquer, so professional development helps keep you on your toes and ready for action at work.

Over the course of your three-year CPTD cycle, you have to earn 150 points in professional development. Professional development can come in many forms, whether that is a conversation with your fellow teachers about how to best engage learners, a book you read about education, or maybe a professional conference you attend. No matter its form, professional development will position you to be a better teacher.

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