Importance of Professional Development for Teachers
“A teacher affects eternity: she can never tell where her influence stops” – Henry B. Adams
A teacher is the most important part of a student’s life. She is the facilitator and the care giver who has the power to make a difference. Teachers not only motivate, inspire and encourage their students; they also have the responsibility to make a positive impact in their lives.
The class rooms 50 years ago and the present day class rooms are vastly different. Just like how doctors and dentists and other professionals have to keep up with new practices and new research in their respective fields to provide the best treatment, so it is with teachers too.
Improving the quality of teaching through the professional development of teachers is an important aspect in the field of education across the globe.
“The best teachers are the ones that change their minds” – Terry Heick
The evolution of pedagogical practices has mandated that teachers too constantly evolve in their teaching practices.
Obtaining a degree in teaching cannot be the end of learning for the teachers. The learning has to be on-going and sustained throughout their careers. It is important that their knowledge, practice and skills are relevant and up to date.
Professional developments can include a variety of methods:
Conferences and seminars.
Collaborating with pears.
Whatever the method, the aim is the same – helping teachers improve their skills in order to teach in a better way.
Better learning outcomes: Educational technology and curriculum standards are constantly evolving making it necessary for teachers to keep up with the latest trends and best practices. Optimal student learning is thus ensured.
Better ways to teach: Through Professional development teachers are able to go back to the classrooms and make changes to their teaching styles that are better suited to the needs of the students.
Better planning skills: Professional development training helps teachers to become better at planning and be more organised.
Better classroom Management: Teachers become better at classroom management that will pave way for a meaningful learning journey for the students.
More knowledge in their subjects: Students expect their teachers to be experts in the subjects they teach and answer all their questions and clear all their doubts. The more professional development a teacher undergoes, the more knowledge they gain.
Utilize New technology: There are always new technologies evolving for class rooms and teachers must not only get trained on the usage of technology in the classroom but also have the knowledge to teach the students.
While it is obvious that good teachers are better at teaching students effectively, when teachers have continuous learning opportunities and professional development resources they are better equipped to excel in their jobs.