The Importance of Professional Development for Teachers
A well developed and comprehensive professional development program within a school enhances teacher quality and provides the opportunity for schools to increase their effectiveness. It is important that teachers constantly challenge themselves and ensure that they are lifelong learners who continuously examine their own assumptions, beliefs and practices. If teachers want to ensure that students have the knowledge, skills, and values needed to become successful adults, they too need to update their skills and knowledge periodically.
An important role of a school administrator is to ensure that student growth and development is enhanced by advocating the professional growth of the staff through professional development and adult learning programs. These programs must be an integral part of school improvement not only for the teachers but for the administrators alike.
There are several considerations that a principal must make when planning professional development for the school. It is essential that a yearly master plan of the school’s professional development schedule be formulated to ensure adequate time is reserved. Concepts covered in professional development workshops should be developed over a period of time. Teachers need time to participate in multiple, interactive and collaborative experiences so that they new concepts become integrated into their practices as reading or hearing about new concepts is not enough to advance authentic learning.
Professional development should site based as much as possible. This allows for teachers to work collaboratively as it gives increased opportunities to talk over learned knowledge, concepts and skills as well as collaboratively confront problems that arise during implementation, that are unique to their school or grade level.
Planning professional development of a school year should be a collaborative task. Principals should ensure that they...