Learning is a continuous process. No matter where you are in your career, whether you are a school student, a university graduate, or a working professional you have to keep on learning in order to move along in your life. Even a teacher has to be a keen observer and learner before he can be good at teaching others. Couple that with the metamorphosis that the field of education has undergone in recent years, and it becomes all the more necessary for teachers to focus on their professional development continuously. For instance, since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, online teaching has become an increasingly popular mode of education, to the extent, that online teaching apps have completely overshadowed the traditional offline mode of education. It is important now, more than ever, for school administration to enable the professional development of the educators. Not only does professional development help in increasing the student learning outcomes but it also makes a teacher’s job more fulfilling and helps them in effectively managing other aspects of their job. In this article, we elucidate upon the importance of professional development in teachers. So, without further ado, let us begin….
Enhances Student Learning-
As advanced teaching methodologies continue to emerge, it is important for teachers to be aware of critical changes in education like effective utilization of education technology, new teaching guidelines, personalized teaching, and likewise. When a teacher is up to date with the current trends in education, he can teach his students in the best possible way, making the best possible use of resources available to him. Teaching techniques like personalized learning have become popular recently due to the high level of student engagement that can be achieved using them. It is shown in research that student learning outcomes increase by more than 20 percentile points as a direct result of the professional development of educators. Furthermore, a teaching professional, say, continues his job for 35 years before he retires. It would be impetuous to think that his knowledge and experience alone will make him a perfect fit for teaching effectively through his tenure. Therefore, it is especially important for teachers with a few years of experience under their belt, to undergo professional development courses in order to stay competent at their job.
Teachers become adept at Management and Organization-
Teaching is a truly hectic job. A teacher, in addition to the time spent in the class, is responsible for making lesson plans, evaluating students, and coordinating with parents, to say nothing of the miscellaneous responsibilities such as being a class teacher, maintaining attendance register, house in charge, and likewise which may be delegated to him. Professional development may educate the teachers about things they can do to stay well organized and utilize their time effectively. With better management skills, teachers also get more time to spend interacting with the students which will invariably lead to better student learning outcomes.
Teachers gain more Knowledge about the Teaching Industry-
As teachers, we are expected to satisfactorily answer every question that is put forth by a student. Professional development provides teachers with the opportunity to expand their knowledge base and learn their subject inside out. Apart from this, professional development allows teachers to gain more insight into the teaching industry in general. Teachers get to know about various opportunities in teaching available to them which may help them in uplifting their career trajectory and earn more income.
Teachers Discover New and Effective ways of Teaching-
Professional development introduces teachers to new ways of teaching students, which they can use to make changes in their teaching styles to get more out of their students. Not only this, but teachers also learn about new assessment techniques and feedback mechanisms that they can employ. The improvements seen might be subtle, nonetheless, they make teachers more effective in teaching, assessing, and connecting with their students.
A Welcome Change for Teachers-
Teachers, just like any other professional, may at times get burdened with the daily grind. Professional development may help them to step out of their daily routine and experience a change in scenery, so to say. It helps teachers in replenishing their energy, reorganizing themselves, gaining motivation, and restart with new enthusiasm and more knowledge once they get back to teaching.
The aforementioned reasons adequately capture the importance of professional development in teachers and why it should be made absolutely mandatory for every educator to undergo professional development courses