As the education sector continues to advance, continuous professional development has become necessary for educators to stay up-to-date. Education does not stop after earning a degree or starting a career; it is a continuous process. And through continuing education, teachers and other career-minded individuals can improve their skills and become better at their jobs.
Education is an integral part of society and requires nothing short of excellence. To stay active in the system, teachers must equip themselves with the right skillset.
Now to the question: Why should teachers encourage continuous professional development? We will briefly explain some reasons for encouraging continuous professional development in the educational sector.
- Guarantees a better Learning experience for students
Educational standards are changing, making it challenging for teachers to keep up with trends and best practices in the field. Continuous development transforms teachers into better educators by equipping them to handle today’s students. Students’ performance and achievements depend on teachers’ participation, and the best way to stay relevant to these students is by improving your skillset.
Research by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences asserts that student achievement can improve by as much as 21 percentile points due to teachers’ participation in well-designed professional development programs.
- Continuous professional development helps teachers to diversify their teaching methods
Continuous professional development enables teachers to learn new teaching methods. And when they discover new teaching strategies through professional development, they can make changes to their lecture styles to better suit the needs of their students.
However, these changes are not automatic; they are implemented gradually. Continuous professional development also exposes educators to new delivery methods, evaluation styles, and record-keeping strategies.
- Continuous professional development helps teachers develop better organization and planning Skills
Since teachers spend most of their time on a lot—such as student evaluations, curriculum development, and other paperwork—continuous development can help teachers to become better at planning their time and staying organized. This ultimately makes teachers more efficient and gives them extra time to focus on students rather than the paperwork.
- Teachers gain more Industry Insight
While teaching, teachers are expected to moderate the topics they teach. This means that teachers should be able to answer any question a student throws their way. Continuous professional development programs can also enable teachers to expand their knowledge base in different subject areas – a science-based teacher should have basic knowledge about commercial art and vice versa. And the more professional development a teacher undergoes, the more industry insight he/she gains.
- Encourages teachers to continue their education
It is easy for teachers to become burdened by the task of teaching. But professional development allows them to step out of their routine — they get to be students periodically instead of being teachers alone. This keeps educators engaged because they feel like they are receiving the professional help they need to be better teachers.
Continuous professional development also nurtures the talents of teachers who aspire to take on educational leadership positions—such as school administrators, board executives, etc—or leadership positions in other sectors. Ideally, a teacher should not be limited to classroom activities alone, and learning from other experienced leaders to become effective future leaders themselves will help them contribute positively to society.
While the decision to enroll in professional development programs lies in the hands of teachers, schools should also integrate development programs for educators on a monthly or annual basis. This helps them develop skills and learn best practices according to the latest standards in the educational sector.
Teaching and learning work together. And to ensure students receive the best, continuous development should be part of schools’ training brochure for teachers/educators.