Professional development for teachers is an important part of the job and a necessity for staying up-to-date with the latest methods, research, and trends. If you’re looking for professional development opportunities but need help knowing where to start, this guide can help. And, so can we!
Why Is Professional Development Important?
There are many aspects to this issue, but the need for professional development stands out as particularly important. This learning provides teachers opportunities to develop and grow, which trickles down to students.
In many ways, educators are the most important part of any education system. They’re responsible for shaping young minds into well-rounded individuals with an eye toward their future careers or studies. Therefore, teachers must have access to opportunities that promote learning for how best to reach and teach their students.
It’s also important that instructional methodology stays up-to-date with (1) technological advances such as the use of AI; (2) breakthroughs in academic fields like science and math; or (3) major historical events that will be taught for years such as September 11, 2001.
Who Offers Professional Development?
We do! More on that in a minute.
Teachers often attend professional development in their schools. This can be done through the principal, who may host workshops or send teachers to conferences and events outside of school hours. The district is another great source of information on professional development opportunities. State education departments also have opportunities for teachers looking to improve their knowledge base or gain certification in a specific area of expertise (for example, early childhood education).
The Stride Professional Development Center can also help. Schools or districts can grant teachers permission to use our courses for PD clock hours towards recertification. Schools that use the Professional Learning Communities (PLC) model can incorporate our courses like a flipped classroom – every person completes the hour-long course before the live meeting and then everyone discusses what they saw and learned. Leveraging both asynchronous and synchronous learning not only takes the learning deeper but it also increases the PD time for teachers.
How to Choose the Right PD?
As with any professional development, there are a few things to remember when choosing the right professional development for you. First, ask yourself:
- Is this professional development relevant to my needs? If not, is it relevant to someone else’s needs?
- Is this professional development relevant to my school? If not, why would I want it at all?
- Is this professional development relevant to my student’s needs? If not, why would I want them to learn something that will get them nowhere in life (or worse: get them into trouble)?
- Can I afford this professional development? Will it make sense within our budget constraints and financial goals for the year (and beyond)?
- How much time am I willing or able to invest in this program (and are there minimums/maximums)?
Professional Development is a vital part of life-long learning. If you believe that the Stride Professional Development Center can help you grow and develop, then reach out to us!