Education is a never-ending process. Even if a person’s formal education ends, he still keeps learning. Teachers are conventionally the ones who impart wisdom and thus it is expected of them to be know-it-all. Teachers have to teach the young minds of the world and their job is to provide guidance to them. In the pursuit of becoming the best mentor, a teacher needs to become a learner first.
Teachers in 2022 require a new set of skills to match the pace of the younger generation. Educators need to develop relevant professional skills to become the best at their jobs. Professional development is the need of the hour for educators to match the industry standards and provide the students with a better learning environment with updated skill sets.
School administrators and staff need to make sure that the teachers get the best professional development opportunities to improve learning along with enhancing and brushing their skills. Professional development is beneficial for teachers in numerous ways. Each teacher in India is expected to participate in CPD (Continuous Professional Development) for at least 50 hrs per year as per NEP, 2020.
What is Professional Development for Teachers?
According to research by OCED(Organisation for Economic and Co-operation Development), professional development for teachers is a way to expand the skill sets and enhance the learning environment in the classroom. Any activity or means by which a teacher can improve and develop the skills to teach can be termed professional development for teachers.
Types of Professional Development
There are different approaches to professional development for educators. Here are some of the most common ways for professional development for teachers:
- Observation visits to other institutes
- Peer observation
- Qualification Programs
- Conferences or seminars
Benefits of Professional Development
1. Boost to the profession as a teacher
When schools invest in professional development for teachers, it results in boosting the morale of the teachers and provides them with the opportunities to become better at their profession. Professional development has been recognised as the motivator behind improving the way the teachers approach their profession and helps them in becoming and adopting more professional skills in their day-to-day tasks.
2. Increase in Salary
Adding the relevant skillsets through professional development helps teachers in getting a better salary. Schools and other educational institutes are ready to pay teachers more if they have additional skill sets.
For instance, becoming a digital certified educator by completing a digital education course for teachers like the Google Certified Educators program or the Microsoft Certified Educators program will help a teacher to get more salary than a teacher who can only show the mastery of a subject on her resume.
In addition to this, an increased salary helps in better performance. Higher pay also leads to a reduction in teacher turnover.
3. Updated Skills and Resume
An employer always looks for the best resume to shortlist the candidates for a job role. According to an article published by Indeed.com, employers look at a resume for six to seven seconds. A candidate who has the most eye-catching has a higher chance of getting the job.
Professional development courses help candidates to flaunt a new set of skills on their resumes. They can boast these skills with authentic certifications which can help them in standing out from the rest of the candidates.
4. Burnout and Turnover in Teaching
Many professional teachers want to leave their jobs and a large fraction of new teachers leave their job within the first five years of teaching. The burnout and teacher turnover in the educational set-up is real and needs to be addressed. Being overworked, poor funding, dealing with difficult parents, classroom management issues and other such causes lead to burnout in the profession of teaching.
Burnout and turnover in the teaching profession can be reduced with the help of professional development. The professional development of teachers will provide the modern-day teachers with the required skill sets to deal with such day-to-day issues with a more professional approach and thus help in the retention of the teachers in the classrooms.
5. Educators learn new and better ways to teach
Until now we have seen how professional development indirectly influences the learning process in the classroom positively through increased salary and boosting the careers of teachers. But the professional development of teachers can directly influence the classroom and provide new, innovative and better ways of teaching to educators.
For instance, if the educators in an institute are provided with the opportunity to learn how to implement digital tools in the classroom, then they can provide a better learning platform for students. The new and innovative techniques used by teachers will help in improving the learning among the students in the classroom.
6. Collaborate with Other Professionals
Through various professional development programs, teachers get the opportunity to interact and learn from other professionals in the same field. Different individuals or professionals have different ways to think. Brainstorming exercises, discussions and working together in a professional environment help in collaborating with individuals with different opinions and experiences. This opens up a lot of opportunities to learn and grow as educators.
7. A deeper understanding of Subject Matter
Teachers constantly need to update their knowledge related to their specialisation. Professional development programs help the educators with not only adding new skill sets to their resumes but also learning new teaching tools and techniques and building professional relationships They also help educators in connecting their subject material to the newly learned skills and use these skills to optimise their understanding of their or the subject matter.
8. Teachers learn better organisational skills
Organisational skills are one of the most required skillsets for teachers in 2022 according to Indeed.com. Teachers need to deal with a lot of paperwork in the form of documents, report cards, assignments and other such things. A teacher needs to develop the required organisational skills. Professional development provides teachers with the modern tools and techniques that can be sued for better organisation. Most professional development courses help teachers in learning and developing organisational skills with practice and real-life examples.
Teachers are the guides who train the future generation of leaders, teachers, business owners, artists and all kinds of professionals. Teachers are thus lifelong learners who need to constantly update their skillsets in the dynamic learning environment to provide the best learning experience for the students. Teachers need to be constantly in the learning process and schools and other institutes can thrive on various professional development programs for teachers to tap into the opportunity to improve the learning environment in the classrooms.
Author: This article is written by Samiya Rashid for upEducators blog.