The Importance of Professional Development

Professional development is extremely important as it allows teachers to learn, grow, and discover new strategies which will help them lead better classes. According to The Insightful Teacher, “the teacher’s perspective, approach and values are the basis for creating a supportive, nurturing classroom.” What’s good for the teacher is good for the class, which is why professional development for teachers is so important.

Here are other reasons why professional development is important for teachers

Better outcome for students

Educational trends and technology are constantly changing, and every day teachers are learning more and more about the different needs of their students. When you’re focused on the daily grind, it can be difficult to stay up to date with the best teaching practices. Professional development allows teachers to stay in the loop, therefore improving their skills as educators. By enabling teachers to create relevant lessons and implement effective strategies for today’s learners, their students will directly benefit as well.

In fact, research conducted by the US Institute of Education Sciences revealed that student achievement can improve by 21 percentile points as a result of teacher participation in professional development courses.

Teachers can become experts

Students expect teachers to be subject matter experts in the fields that they teach, and assume teachers can answer any question thrown at them. Professional development courses can expand teachers’ subject knowledge and help them gain industry insight – which means educators can do less on-the-spot research and more teaching. This in turn provides a more fluid learning environment for children.

Teachers learn better management skills

When teachers aren’t spending their time presenting to their students (which is more often than not), they’re busy with admin: planning lessons, marking papers, and organising after-school activities like sports or culture. Professional development can train teachers to have better time management and organisational skills, creating more efficient educators.

Teachers learn new teaching methods

When educators find new teaching strategies, they are able to go back to the classroom and change their lecture or presentation style. However, these changes are difficult to evaluate as they are typically introduced gradually, as individual teachers discover them. With professional development courses, educators are exposed to more practiced teaching methods, as well as corresponding delivery methods, evaluation styles and record-keeping strategies.

Teachers want to continue their own education

It’s easy for teachers to become resentful of the grind of teaching. Professional development offers teachers an opportunity to step out of their routine and be students for a change. This keeps educators passionate about teaching as they are able to further their own education, while reigniting a love for learning and teaching.Whether educators attend workshops and conferences, or opt for online courses, their continuous professional development is a crucial component to quality education. Life-long learning can give teachers the confidence to overcome classroom obstacles, and equip them to be the best educator they can be.

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