WRITTEN BY JOANNA YORK • 3.5 min
Joanna York is a freelance journalist and writer. In 2019 she was shortlisted for The Guardian’s Hugo Young Award.
If there’s one thing teachers understand, it’s the power of learning.
And this doesn’t just apply to students.
As a teacher, you work in a field that is always changing, throwing you unexpected challenges, and gives you the opportunity to learn and grow.
From improving in-classroom skills, to becoming a better communicator and even learning the best practices for cyber security, there are opportunities for teachers to develop a huge range of knowledge and skills related to their jobs.
Professional development is not just personally rewarding, it can benefit your whole school community, too.
So, why is professional development important for teachers?
We broke it down into 5 main reasons:
- Helping you become the best teacher you can be
- Staying up to date
- Carving out a rewarding career path
- Boost your confidence
- Develop your community bonds
1. Helps you become the best teacher you can be
As teachers always encourage their students to learn and improve, teachers themselves are often asked to do the same.
Teachers will always carry sharp attention to detail as they reflect on the successes and failures of each lesson, a technique they have learned from their earliest teacher training.
On top of this, the job itself constantly throws up challenges, surprises, and opportunities to improve.
Throughout the lifespan of their career, teachers learn to constantly work towards being the best educators they can be in a whole range of circumstances.
But you don’t have to do it alone.
Joining a professional development course gives you access to specialist trainers, and a community of other learners to ensure you have all the tools you need to succeed.
Professional development courses also offer you targeted information and techniques tailored to improve specific aspects of your teaching needs.
2. Stay up to date
Things can move fast in the education world.
New teaching theories can change the way teachers view their practice, syllabus changes can bring new perspectives, and new technologies can be transformational.
These changes are essential to providing relatable classes for students and teaching in a way that is truly relevant.
But all too often, staying up to date is an urgent requirement rather than a choice.
Remember how teachers switched to online learning overnight during COVID-19?
Taking the time to plan ahead and update your skills is the best way to set your teaching career up for a long and lasting future.
And the right professional development courses can help you do just that.
3. Professional development for teachers helps carve out a rewarding career path
Whatever your plans are for your future teaching career, investing in professional development shows that you are motivated, passionate, and serious about your work.
You could use professional development opportunities to specialize in particular teaching methods and become a thought leader in your school, or even an expert in your field.
You could learn the leadership and organization skills you need to become part of the school management staff and shape the future of where you work.
Or you could reorient your teaching career by developing new skills and interests that you can bring to the classroom, broadening your overall knowledge.
However you choose to grow your skills through professional development, doing so will be an investment in your career.
4. Boosts your confidence
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses at work.
Unfortunately, teachers do a whole lot of learning on the job, and when these weaknesses show up, it’s often in front of a classroom of kids watching your every move.
The flip side of this, as every teacher knows, is that experience is the best teacher.
This means that if you’re not feeling confident in one of your teaching skills at the moment, it’s probably because you’re lacking the experience you need to get better at it.
The fastest way to target this kind of weak spot is to take a specialized professional development course.
Doing so can give you the knowledge and practice you need to handle difficult situations and boost your confidence in the classroom.
It’s amazing how transformative it can be turning what used to be a moment of stress in the classroom into something that feels easy and manageable.
With a little knowledge boost, you might even find that something you thought was one of your biggest teaching weaknesses becomes one of your greatest strengths.
5. Develops your community bonds
One of the major reasons to invest in your teaching skills through professional development is to become a better teacher so that you can do a better job for your students.
But the impact may not stop there.
When a teacher learns new skills, it is to the benefit of the whole school community.
Think about how many tips you’ve picked up from other teachers in the staff room, or even from watching their lessons.
You may even have a colleague on hand to give you expert advice on SEN teaching or how to use new tech tools in the classrooms.
Enriching your skills means that, when you share them, you enrich the whole school community.
A journey of life-long learning
Teaching is a job that requires diverse skills, and these can change from student to student and year to year.
This means that all educators learn as they go, and most keep learning throughout their entire careers.
Professional development is the best way to keep this learning going at the highest level, with specialist support and targeted information.
And who knows? The outcomes could be transformational for you, your students, and your school.
To learn more about the courses and certifications offered at Klassroom, click here.