The best professional development for teachers meets certification requirements, is relevant, provides opportunities for discussion and can be completed outside school hours. People who become teachers typically are dedicated to learning and have made a lifelong commitment to education. Professional development is necessary to keep skills updated, provide training in new material and to reflect changes in educational theory.
All teachers who provide education to students between the ages of 4 and 18 must obtain a license or teaching certificate in order to be eligible for employment in a school system. In most countries, all teachers must complete post-secondary education either in a specific subject area or in education theory, or both. Work experience required to qualify includes leadership positions with children or teenagers, instructor roles or supervising children in large groups.
Every teacher certification board or organization has continuing education requirements. Each year, teachers must complete a specific number of hours of training that is related to teaching. Some school boards meet this requirement through professional development days, when students are dismissed and teachers spend the entire day completing a continuing education program.
Alternative options include courses from a local university, college or professional association. Take the time to make sure that the course is approved by the certification board before registering. There are a huge selection of course available through these schools.
Select a program that is relevant to teaching. This can include training that is focused on a particular subject matter or further information on education theory and approaches. New teachers with less than five years of experience benefit the most from education theory and application courses. More experienced teachers might find that there have been new developments in their field of expertise and would benefit from courses in that area. Teachers who are looking to expand their knowledge can take classes in subjects with high demand, such as math, science or English.
The most effective professional development for teachers includes group discussions or presentations. People who become teachers are naturally outgoing and sociable. Discussing a problem or concept as a group will access their primary learning style, creating an enjoyable and effective learning experience.
Teachers work fixed schedules and would be available for professional development outside these hours. Online learning is growing in popularity as a method of delivering professional development for teachers that provides maximum scheduling flexibility. Daytime programs would mean absence from work and would either require permission or a professional development day for all teachers.