5 Professional Development Tips for Teachers

Jan 15, 2018 by

Teaching adults or children is a very rewarding career. It isn’t a career path that suits everyone, but if you have the empathy and communication skills to pass on your knowledge and change people’s lives for the better, teaching will soon become a vocation rather than a means to an end.

Professional development for teachers is an important part of any forward-thinking career strategy, so here are some helpful professional development tips for teachers looking to boost their career.

Manage Your Time More Effectively

Time is our friend and our worst enemy. The average school day lasts 6-7 hours, but much of that time is spent on non-teaching activities. To ensure you maximise your teaching time, plan your day down to the last second. Focus on each classroom activity and make sure it offers the best value for the time available. Plan lessons according to student ability and keep the lesson flowing. It is essential that you plan lessons in advance, as making it up as you go along isn’t the hallmark of an effective teacher.

Join Social Media

Many teachers stay well away from social media for fear of saying or posting something inappropriate or encouraging contact from students and their parents. Of course, it is sensible to assign strict privacy settings on all social media accounts and ensure that your use of social media meets any guidelines set by your educational establishment, but don’t underestimate how useful social media can be.

You can use social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn to gain access to research papers, articles, and bloggers. It is also a great place to converse with other teachers and initiate further professional development experiences.

Take Charge of Your Training

Don’t wait for the school to send you on a training course. Design your own professional development pathway that is tailored for your own unique skills. All schools have inset days, which gives them time to attend lectures, training courses, and other CPD activities. Use this time to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to suggest helpful training courses or professional development resources. If a course is useful to you, it probably will be useful for your colleagues too. Look on social media for training opportunities and conferences. Your teaching union will also organise events, so keep in the loop and be ready to take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

Observe Other Teachers

All teachers have their own style, so there is a lot you can learn from your peers. Make a point of observing your peers when possible. You may observe a new strategy you can introduce into lessons. Or, you may see how other teachers manage behavioural issues and learn something that you can apply to your own classroom. Talk to other educators, either in your own school or online. Learn from them and apply their teaching methods to your own classroom. There is always something new to learn in the teaching world. Also, utilize teacher evaluations and don’t ignore the data they provide. You need to understand what teaching methods are working successfully and what areas you need to improve on. If you need help on this subject, these teacher evaluation tips may prove to be useful.

Do you have any more professional development tips? Let us know below!

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