5 Steps to take for successful PD for teachers
With the increasing number of edtech devices, software, and apps being used in the classroom, various improvements to teaching methodologies, and overall efforts to personalize learning and boost academic achievement, it’s easy for school leaders to take for granted one link that can make or break the chain of success: teachers.
Educators can’t know it all and do it all by magic; they also need to learn. And they need all the support they can get.
At the same time, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to Professional Development (PD) for teachers, but there are some aspects that should always be a part of it. Here are five of them:
Establish the basics
Listen to what teachers have to say. Their feedback at this step can really make a difference later on. Then, you need to decide which tools to use. Since teachers have to work with edtech when teaching, you could use your school LMS to create training courses for teachers. Last but not least, plan on when and where exactly teacher PD will happen.
Provide relevant courses
Of course, it’s always good to pinpoint the problems that might be solved by teacher training, but remember that some things are better solved in other ways. To cover as many needs as possible, try to plan courses covering the latest findings in pedagogy or subject matters, and courses on edtech. The TPACK framework is a good starting point.
Diversify your delivery
Diversifying your methods of training will help respond to the learning needs of teachers. There is more than one way to do that. You could diversify the format of the course: face-to-face instruction, online courses, or try out a blended approach. Then, you could diversify the content of the course: text-based guides, video content, interactive scenarios, gamified content, and so on.
You can’t think of teacher PD as a one-time shot and then call it a day. Learning is a process that happens within informal settings just as much as (or maybe even more than) it does during official training. Teachers learn from one another and your organisation should support and nurture that.
Offer continuous support
Learning never stops. Neither should the professional development of teachers. If you expect them to constantly get better at what they do, then you should be prepared to offer them support, whether it’s through the implementation of a 1:1 program, flexible learning spaces, or using the school LMS.
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