Make A Change! All about Professional Development for Teachers

As a head of department or teacher, you might think that after years of classroom experience, you don’t need to participate in further education regarding teacher professional development. However, this is far from the truth! Professional development for teachers was and still is the number one reason why schools succeed and flourish. Let us take you through all the aspects of professional development for teachers. Who knows? Perhaps we can change your mind…

What is professional development for teachers?

Beatrice Avalos, Professor and Education researcher at the University of Chile, defines teacher professional development as being “about teachers learning, learning how to learn, and transforming their knowledge into practice for the benefit of their students’ growth. Teacher professional learning is a complex process, which requires cognitive and emotional involvement of teachers individually and collectively, the capacity and willingness to examine where each one stands in terms of convictions and beliefs and the perusal and enactment of appropriate alternatives for improvement or change.”

Professional development goals for teachers – Why it matters!

  1. To enhance teacher efficacy and increase results for students
  2. To be keen on professional improvement and keep a goal-achieving mindset
  3. To produce effective learning outcomes that are aligned with teacher performance and student success
  4. To follow modern teaching trends for the purpose of enhancing the academic achievement of students 
  5. To make sure that teachers are provided with the right and suitable technological tools that should be applied in class
  6. To make sure that the teaching staff is adequately trained to provide a safe and healthy school environment that is free from bullying or discrimination 
professional development for teachers
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3 Interesting professional development for teachers ideas

Effective teacher professional development comes with a set of rules that make it successful and fruitful. In any professional development for teachers course, there is bound to be a section where teachers, with their varying degrees of experience, can share ideas, thoughts and insights. If you are looking to carry out a course for your teaching staff, consider these 3 topics in your discussion. 

  • The significance of the relationship between students’ personalities and education:  According to the U.S. Department of Education, the definition of character education is “a learning process that enables students and adults in a school community to understand, care about and act on core ethical values such as respect, justice, civic virtue and citizenship, and responsibility for self and others.” That’s why enhancing students’ ethical values is quite important for their development as good participants in society. Nowadays, educators have started to shift their focus to character building and how it can be related to the school curriculum. This could be an excellent topic to tackle in a professional development course for teachers of primary and secondary education. 

 

  • The importance of teachers’ mental health: Recent studies have concluded that most teachers felt quite stressed as a result of the long working days at school. They reported that the work stress contributed to their poor mental health as well. This has started to ring true, especially after COVID-19 and the widespread unemployment. Heads of schools should definitely focus on their teachers’ well-being by investing in regular checkups and a school psychologist for teachers. This could be a great addition to any professional development course where teachers will feel happy to be included and heard. 

 

  • Remote learning, its implications and scope for improvement: Since the global pandemic, remote teaching has become quite popular among schools worldwide. Many schools still even implement remote learning to this day although there are fewer restrictions placed on countries. As a teacher, you may think that after 2 years of remote education, you have it all figured out. While this may be true to a great extent, there are new studies and teaching approaches that emerge everyday. That is why it is important to carry out teacher meetings to share ideas and possible solutions to common problems of remote learning. 

This might interest you: 5 Common Online Learning Problems and Solutions

What are the advantages of teachers’ professional development

Let’s take a look at some benefits of professional development for teachers:  

Teachers become more organized and better planners 

Usually, most of the teachers’ time is spent on checking exams and quizzes, enhancing the curriculum and other logistic work. Teacher professional development can improve teachers’ planning and organizational skills. Of course, this would make them more qualified in their work, either in class or outside. 

Students see better results 

It can certainly be difficult for teachers to stay up to date with the latest teaching trends and practices in education since everything related to it is changing everyday. By allowing them to design efficient and customised course materials for their students, professional development helps teachers become better and more effective educators.

Teachers get to know about new and effective teaching methods 

Teachers are able to return to the classroom and modify their teaching methods and curriculum to better meet the requirements of their students when they learn new teaching tactics through professional development. Nevertheless, because they are frequently introduced gradually, these teaching modifications are challenging to analyse.

By introducing teachers to more recent delivery techniques and evaluation styles, professional development courses for teachers help them become more effective in their teachings and day-to-day tasks.     

Teacher professional development statistics that prove its efficiency

Take a look at these teacher professional development statistics that prove its practical efficiency in the classroom. 

 

professional development statistics
Source: https://www.oecd.org/berlin/43541636.pdf
What are the advantages of teachers professional development
Source: https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2017/2017200.pdf

 

3 Activities for professional development for teachers

Professional development activities for teachers can be quite fun and engaging when you want to implement a memorable and impactful course for your teachers. Here are some ideas to give you inspiration, according to Screencast-O-Matic.

Professional development for teachers examples

  • Create an educational book club

Here are some book recommendations to give you ideas:

    • Teaching to Transgress by Bell Hooks
    • Educated by Tara Westover
    • Make it Stick by Henry L. Roediger III, Mark A. McDaniel, and Peter C Brown
    • The book whisperer by Donalyn Miller
    • Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students by Zaretta Hammond
    • Disrupting Thinking: Why how We Read Matters by Beers and Robert E Probst
    • Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day by  Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann
    • Why Don’t Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom by Daniel T. Willingham

Read: E-learning School: A Huge Shift in Education

  • Reflective journaling 

According to Screencast-O-Matic, “Professional journaling helps teachers keep track of these reflections and monitor their own professional development. Teachers can create a handwritten journal or use video journaling. If using video journaling, make sure you have a secure place to store your videos! 

You can store video journals directly on a computer but using an online platform is more effective because you can access them from anywhere. You can easily upload, organize and share your video journals on a free, secure video hosting platform like Screencast-O-Matic. Screencast-O-Matic lets you upload and store unlimited videos, easily organize and manage them in folders, and control your content visibility with privacy settings. Password protect your video journals, make them unlisted, or keep them private and visible only to you.”

teachers' meeting
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  • Explore game-based learning 

Take a look at this article that discusses game-based learning. But in short, “Game-based learning is the process of integrating game principles into the learning experience. Its ultimate aim is to encourage students to engage, work in teams, and take part in strategic thinking. 

Implementing game-based learning in the class is a sure way to make sure that students are back on track and interested to learn. One of the necessary elements in gamifying the class is introducing the concept of digital badges as a form of an incentive where the students can trace their progress and be proud of what they have achieved so far.

According to Screencast-O-Matic, you can “take this professional development activity further by asking teachers to implement gaming into a lesson plan and reviewing the process in a small group. Teachers can get together to discuss the highlights and challenges of game-based learning and bounce ideas off one another. Teachers might even come up with a competition to be played between classes throughout the year, creating a fun way to get their students engaged.”

After reading about professional development for teachers, its benefits, goals and activities to use for your next course, you must be convinced now of its immense importance in educational development. If you are a school manager or a head of a department, make sure to focus on the development of teachers, which forms the basis for any school’s success and prosperity. 

The Skolera team is always keen on providing the best digital solutions that help teachers and heads of departments reach their ultimate teaching objectives. Our Learning Management System (LMS) and School Management System (SMS) are trusted by experts in numerous schools and universities. Book a free demo now to test all the features before you commit! Also, we usually hold webinars and events related to professional development for teachers so make sure to follow us on social media!

Sources:

 

https://media.journals.elsevier.com/content/files/s0742051x10001435-04221022.pdf 

 

https://pce.sandiego.edu/8-professional-developments-topics-for-teachers-course-list/ 

 

https://online.queens.edu/resources/article/professional-development-for-educators/ 

 

https://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/character/brochure.html 

 

 

About Aida Elbanna

Aida Elbanna is a Content Writer in the digital marketing team of Skolera. She has previously worked as a Translator and English tutor. As an English Literature and Linguistics graduate and a current MA student, Aida is interested in researching and doing lots of writing. She is passionate about helping people understand complex subjects through coherently written articles like tackling everything about educational technology.

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