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How Professional Development of Teachers can help in making a change in the education sector?

Most of the teachers admit that professional learning is not always providing them with access to expert advice, especially in terms of supporting English learners and students with disabilities, as per new surveys of educators from the RAND Corporation. As per research conducted during the academic year of 2021-22, national representatives of about 8,000 samples on Mathematics, Science, and Language Art Teachers across grades K-12 were being tested. However, with this and several other findings, it has been reported how the teachers use professional learning and the options that they find useful.

As per a survey by teachers, it has been found that the type of professional development that they participate in has most often been entrusted in terms of collaborative learning. Teachers going through professional learning often use the time to focus on implementing the curriculum and analyzing student assessment data, whereas a big amount of time gets devoted to creating their own materials.

As education is a learning cycle and it goes on forever, even while resuming one’s professional journey, continuing education also helps career-minded people to improve their skills and become true professionals. It is also important for school administrators in the field of primary and secondary education to enable professional development for teachers. The main aim is not only to give students the best learning but also to be more effectively fulfilled throughout various aspects of their job.

How important is professional development for Teachers?

As we are surrounded by lessons at every step of our lives, hereby the relevance of our teachers can be understood. Also, there are several of us who assists us from the early years of our lives to prepare the building blocks of our career and prepare ourselves for facing multiple responsibilities. Thus, making optimum use of the information and the communication technologies that are available, does make the professional development for all teachers essential.

Any form of a continuing effort to hone the skills and knowledge base of educators can be termed to be as professional development for teachers. Especially from the side of improving a student’s performance it also becomes quite essential for teachers to develop their pace of teaching and tune their knowledge base to suit the need and scope of understanding of the students. Generally, learning occurs in both formal and informal settings, through conferences, courses, seminars, retreats, teacher training initiatives or sessions, and workshops which include both formal and informal settings. Thus, in a way, informal training for teachers also includes carrying out independent research, participation in peer-learning activities, and conversing with co-educators.

Still, various types of research are going on in the field of bringing out innovative techniques for imparting education and employing them in terms of improvement of the students in the changing times. The fast-changing technology and increasing impact of globalization are also leaving a far-reaching impact on the patterns of study and education.

Factors highlighting the importance of Professional Development for teachers-

Learning and development is an ongoing process, which does not end only with obtaining a degree or a career. As career-minded individuals nowadays have to keep on constantly enhancing their skills to become more competent in their profession, which is only possible by being engaged with education.

Some of the major factors that highlight the importance of teacher training and professional development can be further stated as;

  • Opening of new learning avenues for students - Teachers constantly try to evolve their learning techniques to become better educators and do become better in their job to teach students. Thus, continuous learning opportunities not only help in the advancement of the teachers but also helps to open up new learning avenues for students as well. As the teachers are able to introduce the students to new forms of learning by responding to their needs efficiently.

  • Improving the confidence of teachers- When the teachers will have better knowledge and understanding of the subject and the methods of teaching that subject, they will exude more confidence. In a way, effective professional development will also assist teachers to shape the learning abilities of students.

  • Improving organizational and planning abilities- A well-rounded professional actually understands the importance of organization and planning, whereby professional development helps educators to curate teaching strategies to plan their classes and lessons in a creative manner, which will appeal to the students in a way. Also, it will encourage students to include new aspects into the curriculum with the ultimate goal of engaging in the development of students.

  • Enhancing the knowledge of the subject matter- A student expects their teachers to be an expert in the subject matter, which they are supposed to learn. The introduction of professional development programs for teachers will ultimately broaden the knowledge of the teachers in a variety of subject areas. The more professional development opportunities the teachers will gain, they will gain expertise and industry insight.

Professional development is actually all about continuous learning and there will be several opportunities to advance and improve one’s teaching abilities. There is always something new to learning new skills to acquire. Professional development is essential for teaching success because it helps to understand why one makes specific choices and copes with certain circumstances.

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