Every parent would agree that they want the best teacher possible for their children. With an estimated total of 3.6 million teachers employed in elementary and secondary schools across the US, being able to bring out the best in every student requires constantly evolving and expanding skills.
A great teacher is one who can communicate their craft in a way that engages every student and enables each student to have a full understanding of the topic at hand. Not only that, a great teacher is one who can create a thriving environment for their students.
The purpose of professional learning for teachers is to improve the learning environment not only for students but teachers alike. Development in the form of workshops, seminars and collaborative group learning, to name a few, take place to widen the perspective of teachers, allowing the teacher to become an experienced mentor in the eyes of students, and therefore inspiring the students to reach their full potential.
Teachers benefit from ongoing learning throughout their careers by developing new teaching strategies and being equipped with multiple ways of teaching one topic, enabling them to better speak to the unique learning styles of every student in their classroom. The continuous development and diverse point of views gained, give teachers the ability to transfer their passion to their students, creating a valuable learning experience.
Ongoing learning and more importantly, the support available to teachers when attending professional development allows the teacher to step back and become the student once again. This works to open up their eyes to new ideas and perspectives, and allows them to keep up to date with a world that is evolving at a rapid pace.
This is critical to teachers feeling fulfilled and inspired in their roles as educators, especially when faced with challenging groups of students, which is a situation encountered by many teachers over the course of their careers. Many times students act up due to a lack of understanding in the classroom and professional learning for teachers equips them with up-to-date information on how to engage these students based on how they learn best, giving teachers more control in their classrooms and the skills needed to support these students.
Professional development and learning also work to create a work environment that is filled with passionate, driven teachers which creates a thriving culture and a happy workplace. A healthy workplace is a motivated workplace, and it’s this kind of motivation and passion that is then transferred onto the students in the classrooms. Being exposed to this environment sets students up for success when eventually entering the workplace or any other collaborative environment.
Education is a constantly evolving career, and the teachers who adopt the concept of “life-long learning” will have a wider idea of what they’re teaching as well as a greater impact on their students. This impact goes far beyond the classroom. It’s something that is carried with the students through their entire lives, and it fundamentally shapes them into the person they’re going to be.
Implementing professional learning development has benefits for both students and teachers, and the effect within the classroom, as well as the impact teachers, can have, is the difference between a good teacher and the kind of educator parents want for their kids, a great teacher.