Professional Development Helps Teachers Make the Grade

Professional development programs are known by many names – staff development, training, professional learning, continuing education, and so on. They help people learn and apply new knowledge and skills that contribute to improving their performance on the job. Such programs can benefit participants irrespective of the field that they belong to- these courses can be taken up by doctors, educators, lawyers, engineers, accountants, and others in a wide variety of professions and businesses. While some people opt for professional development courses as a requirement that’s part of their job, some others voluntarily seek new learning. One profession that benefits extremely from such a course is the teaching profession, or those involved in the field of education.

How professional development programs aid teachers, educators, and students

Professional development programs for teachers, and enhancement courses for educators help improve teaching quality and school leadership, thereby contributing to student achievement. By taking up such work outside their jobs, teachers and educators expand their knowledge and skills, which enable them to implement superior and more effective educational practices. It strengthens their performance levels, and also lets them address learning challenges faced by students. The advantage of a professional development program for educators is not restricted to teaching alone. It trickles down to the students and helps them learn at the highest levels.  It also contributes to bettering their performance and raising bars for student achievement in a healthy way.

Why educators need professional development programs

Teachers and educators learn some part of their job in the college or university that they attend. A greater extent of learning happens on the job, and they continue to gain experience with every passing year. However, the field of education is not exempt from changes, and new curriculum, subject content, teaching methods etc. get implemented from time to time. These changes pose challenges to teachers and educators who already have to juggle between regular classes, and other academic work. Advancement in technology can also have an impact on education, and teachers need to hone their skills from time to time in order to stay abreast of these changes, and relevant in their job and discipline. A professional development course helps address such challenges and needs, and contributes to effective learning programs for tutors as well as their students.

Who can participate in a professional educator development program

School teachers of K-12 grades, lecturers, assistant professors and professors from college or universities, or anyone involved in the teaching profession can take part in a course designed for educators. No matter the discipline – Math, Science, IT, Humanities, Language, or Arts – any teacher can enroll in a professional development course.

In addition to tutors, principals and assistant principals, heads of departments, and university deans, who also handle administrative and legal tasks in addition to teaching ones, too can benefit immensely by participating in such a course.  These courses help them address specific roles and responsibilities, and support outcomes in activities taken up by students, teachers, and other staff in the school, college, or university.

What a typical program curriculum includes

Though different professional development programs include different kinds of content, most of them are structured around the basic elements of creativity, innovation, leadership, teamwork, and time management. This is implemented through individual and groups activities where participants also learn many new tools and techniques that can be implemented in their day to day lives. These skills can in turn, also be taught in the classroom.

Funds for programs

Tutors and educators who take up professional development programs often receive funds from the respective institution that they teach at. They can also receive aids and grants from national programs or those organized by the district administration, state government, or national government. Those who take part in professional development programs from an individual learning perspective can also receive tax exemptions in many cases.

In short, a professional development program for teachers helps them make the grade by implementing many effective teaching and learning techniques that change the face of student performance in the long run.