The Benefits of Professional Development for Educators

Sep 24, 2020 by

Professional Development - Hamilton County Schools

As educators, your primary concern and focus are enriching the lives and minds of your students. Your job is to educate your students and help them grow and develop. But what about your own professional development? Whether you’re just entering your career as an educator or have been in the game for decades, your own development and enrichment never end. This is especially true in the world of education where techniques, discoveries, and teaching approaches are constantly evolving and changing. Investing in professional development, on top of all your other responsibilities, can feel overwhelming and daunting. This has never been more true than now when teachers are tasked with juggling in-person and virtual instruction in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. But your professional development is important – and here’s why!

Learn Different Approaches to Teaching

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. Different students require different techniques and approaches. Are you struggling to reach certain students? Is there a specific lesson or technique that a majority of the class isn’t grasping? Sometimes, you have to switch things up! Professional development courses help you think outside the box. You can make adjustments to your presentations, strategies, and the curriculum as a whole. Sometimes, finding a teaching approach that works is all about trial and error. 

Students Have Better Outcomes

It’s no secret that the more engaged students are, the better their grades and response to the material will be. Teachers that are constantly striving to learn new and different ways of teaching often have students that perform better both on standardized tests and in the classroom. Now, teachers can create lessons that are tailored to the students’ needs and current standards. In fact, students whose teachers participate in professional development perform 21% better than those that don’t seek any outside education or enrichment.

Tips for Organizing and Planning

Teachers are natural multi-taskers and are often details orientated and highly organized. You have to be, after all, if you’re teaching multiple classes at different grade and academic levels. Teachers are always on the hunt for tips and tricks to make organizing and lesson planning easier. Many professional development courses are geared towards exactly this – providing resources and advice on how to simplify the planning process and make it the most effective for both educators and students. 

The Opportunity to Network and Collaborate

Educators are a tightly knit group of professionals. Many teachers and even school system leaders share the same struggles, hurdles, and goals. These commonalities span different school districts, grade levels, and even states. When teachers take advantage of professional development opportunities not only are they gaining access to valuable resources and information but also other professionals. They have a unique opportunity to collaborate with other like-minded educators. They can share techniques, advice, and personal experiences about which teaching methods worked best and which fell flat. Although every class is unique, gathering different data and suggestions never hurts! Plus, sometimes, it’s just nice to know you’re not alone in the daily grind of educating both yourself and your students.

It’s Never Too Late to Learn Something New

As an educator, you’re always encouraging students to learn more and expand their horizons. But what about you? Your journey for personal development shouldn’t end on graduation day, or even after getting hired to your first teaching position. The world of education is constantly changing and evolving. Failing to better yourself on a professional and personal level is doing a disservice to both you and your students. Embrace the change by collaborating with other educators and tapping into the valuable resources offered by professional development courses and workshops.

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