Technology has changed the education system for the better. Online classes replaced classroom teachings. Mobile screens replaced blackboards. Electronic documents replaced notebooks. And, MyEdu’s school management software replaced manual record keeping. To keep up with the changes and prepare their students for the future, educators will have to develop themselves continuously.
Today’s educators need a lot of things to qualify as good teachers. They need in-depth subject knowledge, strong social skills, strong understanding and analysis, and practical application of knowledge. To be able to achieve all these, continuous professional development is extremely crucial.
What is continuous professional development?
Continuous professional development is the processes and learning activities professionals undertake to enhance their knowledge, skills, competence, and expertise. It records what professionals learn, experience, and apply in their field.
Instead of being reactive and passive, teachers who engage in continuous professional development become proactive and apply the newly acquired skills and knowledge to teach more efficiently. They attend conferences, workshops, online training classes, or e-learning courses to develop themselves professionally.
Importance of continuous professional development for teachers
With continuous professional development, teachers can:
Develop superior skills in organizing and time management
Apart from teaching, teachers spend a large part of their time developing curriculum, evaluating students, and doing other paperwork. But the advent of school management software changed that, and teachers adopted the technology. Continuous professional development will enable them to stay organized and manage their time efficiently. They will also learn to leverage technology to focus more on tutoring and students.
Find new teaching strategies
With continuous professional development, teachers discover new teaching strategies and ways. This helps them to identify their students’ needs and implement the strategies to teach better. They also understand the areas where they can improve and change their style to be more effective.
Contribute to better student learning outcomes
A research shows that continuous professional development for teachers could improve student achievement by as much as 21 percentile points. It enables teachers to keep pace with the best practices and latest trends in their profession. It also helps them in crafting personalized and practical lessons for their students.
Remain motivated and improve their learning curve
Continuous professional development keeps teachers motivated as they get professional help to become better educators. It allows them to step out of their routine and become a learner. They learn from experienced leaders and experts, which enhances their learning curve and their leadership skills.
Set SMART, professional goals
Continuous professional development makes teachers better goal-setters and helps them to set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. With this, educators can define career goals that are realistic and achievable and can be measured by setting a timeline.
Get knowledge and insight into their subjects
Continuous professional development allows educators to get knowledge and insights into various areas of their subjects. With continuous professional development, they also know what’s happening in their industry and how they can improve their teachings to measure up against the high standards.
Equip their students for future
Rapid technological change will transform a lot of things in the future. It will make many jobs obsolete and create many new ones. Today’s students will need to equip themselves with new technical skills, people skills, and competencies to perform effectively as future professionals. And teachers will play a key role in preparing their students for a brave new world.
How to make continuous professional development programs effective for teachers?
There are five ways you can make effective continuous professional development programs for teachers.
Make it specific
There are many continuous professional development programs for teachers, but most of them are broad and generic. If you want the programs to be relevant, make them specific for teachers. Ask them what they want to learn and implement their suggestions. The programs must be intensive as opposed to extensive that will enable educators to gain in-depth knowledge.
Keep them invested and engaged
Different people employ different ways to learn things. Some may learn better by listening. Some may be writing and taking notes. Some may by using visual learning tools. Try to use various methods while conducting continuous professional development programs. Also, observe the interest and engagement level of the educators and find out ways to keep them invested and engaged.
Create personalized programs for them, if possible
Get in touch with teachers and observe the factors that influence their teachings. It can be:
- the subjects they teach
- the classes they teach
- are they happy with their current position
As per the different factors, create programs that can be relevant for different types of teachers.
Encourage them to put the teachings into practice
After each session, give them sufficient time and space to analyze and self-reflect on the teachings. Now is the time to put the teachings into practice. Encourage and support them to implement the new ideas and strategies in their classrooms. Ensure that they can approach you with any queries or concerns. You can use student achievement data and learning outcomes to know the success of the programs.
Give them actionable feedback
After analyzing the outcome and efficacy of the continuous development program for teachers, give them actionable feedback that will help them improve their teachings. Encourage teachers to discuss the strategies and techniques with their colleagues. This will reinforce the lessons in their teaching process. You can also have them collaborate with their peers and see how they approach lessons and handle students’ questions. You can also encourage the exchange of feedback and ideas among the teachers.
Considering all things,
Speaking of transforming the education system, at MyEdu, we build school management software for institutions that believe in preparing their teachers and students for the future. Continuous development programs are one of the best methods for teachers to enhance their skills and keep pace with the ever-transforming educational system. If you aspire to be one, request a free demo with our team to know how we can help you.