Professional development to learn new teaching methods can be accomplished in various forms, including teaching conferences, teaching classes, virtual/online classes, and self-study. As school districts and states change the way they want their programs to run, many teachers are required to adapt to these changes.
Teachers are expected to acquire new teaching practices and skills to comply with current programs and learning initiatives. However, to adjust to these changes, teachers are required to spend a lot of time on their professional development and continuing education outside of their regular daily schedules. So the question is: how do you find a chance to upgrade your teaching or administration job skills?
Why do You Need Professional Development?
Professional development serves the purpose of keeping teachers informed and providing support when new teaching methods and practices are introduced. The views of learning seem almost constantly to change, and with these changes, teachers are expected to adapt their teaching methods accordingly.
The biggest obstacle to finding time for professional development lies with how others view teachers’ work time. The central people responsible for implementing changes to teaching programs regard teachers as only working when they are teaching students.
They don’t view time for curriculum development, lesson planning and the like as being part of a teacher’s daily schedule. Therefore, it is up to the teachers or other education professionals to fit in time to stay current with their already busy schedules.
When to Develop Yourself
Using the summer for professional development is one solution. It doesn’t allow for any opportunity to implement your new strategies directly into the classroom. Another common way to allocate time for professional development is to hire substitute teachers for a day. Being away for one day won’t give you adequate preparation time to implement your reforms.
Technology may serve as a solution to this problem. Technology helps people make better use of their time. Technology can make it possible for teachers to access instructional resources as well as use collaborative support outlets whenever they need. Videoconferencing is also a new and efficient way to access different sites without having to travel.
Seek out webinars and other web-based conferences to attend. These are usually tailored for full-time working individuals and are held on nights and weekends to accommodate teachers’ schedules best. Ability to use current technology will look impressive on your resume.
Why Isn’t There More Time for Professional Development?
As mentioned above, the extra work that goes into fully facilitating a classroom is not factored into teachers’ schedules. It’s not as if teachers just show up, after all! General education around the inner workings of running a classroom is sorely needed to shed light on this issue.
A way to help change the views of the public and policymakers is to develop a task force dedicated to informing the public about the importance of professional development and discuss ways of implementing professional development into teachers’ schedules that makes sense.
We’d love to hear from you. How do you make time for professional development? Comment and share this article below!