Types of Teacher Professional Development Explained

The path to becoming an effective teacher is a long and challenging one, but the rewards are vast. The enduring friendships of colleagues and lifelong connections with students and families are undeniable. Success as a teacher requires continual learning and adapting to the needs of your students.

Professional development is the tool that helps teachers grow and share their passion with students. After all, when you as a teacher grow, your students will soon follow. This article will discuss the different types of professional development for teachers and share how the Stride Professional Development Center (SPDC) can help.

Research-Based Plan

A research-based plan is a document that outlines the research on which you are basing the professional learning of your students and yourself. This step could include personal, action research or simple evaluation of the evidence from other teachers, administrators, and researchers in the field. This process is longer and much more involved than many of the others.

Periodic Workshops

A shorter and more intensive format is the typical workshop. These are usually held during the school day and can be led by another teacher or an expert in a particular subject. Workshops vary widely in length, content, and price. The Stride PD Center excels here as we offer more than 50 courses that you can take individually or as a professional learning center (PLC) to grow together. Teachers wanting to benefit from co-teaching could adapt the lessons from online teachers for their classrooms.

Individual Plan

Individual plans are when a teacher chooses their professional development path to fit their learning needs and goals. This area is where the SPDC excels because we give you choice and control over your learning. You will want to find the course material and evaluate the documents you can take with you after having completed the course.

For example, if you just accepted an online instructional position and want to understand expectations and how to prepare, then find a course that discusses a day in the life of an online teacher. Thousands of teachers across the country have done this well and the material exists. Once you’ve selected the course and started your learning, be sure to keep notes and reflections so that you can immediately apply to your local context.

Collaborative Plan

Collaborative planning is a process in which a group of teachers works together to develop a plan for professional development. Teachers are self-directed but work with a mentor who helps them get started and provides guidance. The group meets regularly to discuss progress and challenges, share ideas and strategies, take ownership of their learning, and celebrate successes. The best courses to fit this approach is the five-part Grading Calibration series that ELA teachers could take to ensure proper rubric use and scoring across grade or content levels.

This overview shared a few types of professional development that are available to teachers and how the SPDC can help you. If you’re a teacher looking to improve your skills, check out some of the free resources we offer and find one that works for you.

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