- Posted by Christina Epplett
- On Oct 9, 2023
- 0 Comments
Professional development in education is a critical aspect of continuous improvement for educators and plays a significant role in enhancing teaching practices, student outcomes, and overall job satisfaction. It can also be fun!
McTaw (2022) emphasizes the importance of professional development and its in helping teachers, students, and staff to excel. As many in-person and virtual conferences are just around the corner, here are some tips to make the most of professional development.
1. Set Clear Goals: Before attending any professional development sessions or workshops, define specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. Determine what skills or knowledge you want to acquire and how you plan to apply them in your teaching practice.
2. Collaborate and Network: Engage with other educators during professional development events to share ideas, experiences, and best practices. Collaborating with colleagues can lead to new insights and valuable support.
3. Reflect on Learning: After each professional development session, take time to reflect on what you’ve learned. Consider how the new knowledge or skills can be integrated into your teaching and what adjustments might be necessary.
4. Apply Learning and Seek Feedback: The true value of professional development lies in its application. Implement what you’ve learned in your classroom and assess its impact on student learning. Regularly refine and adapt your practices based on evidence. Request feedback from peers, mentors, or administrators on the changes you’ve made to your teaching approach. Constructive criticism can help you refine your techniques and teaching strategies further.
5. Join Professional Associations: Become a member of educational associations or organizations relevant to your teaching field. These associations often offer valuable resources, networking opportunities, and access to the latest developments in education.
6. Encourage Peer Observations: Engage in peer observations to receive feedback from fellow teachers and offer feedback in return. Observing others’ teaching can provide new perspectives and inspire you to try different approaches.
7. Advocate for PD Opportunities: If your school lacks sufficient professional development opportunities, advocate for more support from administrators or explore external options. Highlight the potential benefits for both students and educators. The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) saw tremendous success in implementing professional development opportunities around technology and empowering their teams to support one another. MDE offered two unique professional development opportunities to further training opportunities in addition to existing training and coaching.
Remember that professional development is an ongoing process. Continually seek opportunities to learn, grow, and adapt to the changing needs of students and education as a whole.
What professional development opportunities are you utilizing this year? We hope to see you at upcoming conferences this year!