Professional Development sessions without thorough follow-up are of no use! A small fraction of skills and knowledge gained from the professional development training is taken to the class room, where teachers usually do not implement the leanings from the professional developments training sessions! The professional development results in a waste of time, effort and energy. Quite a large percentage of the teachers are resistant to change, and need support to implement new ways of teaching, which does not follow the “traditional classroom teaching”.
Professional and meaningful development results in teachers increasing their knowledge, along with learning various teaching strategies that can be implemented in class, and establish opportunities for students and teacher to engage in discussions, and implement the strategies devised. The biggest challenge faced with professional development is not teaching teachers something out of the ordinary; it is to ensure that teachers, without resisting implement the knowledge and skills in the classroom. According to a recent survey conducted in 2013, most of the professional development sessions have been in effective in classrooms in improving student’s learning’s. The simple litmus test for professional development is to forward the learning on to your students, by engaging them more in discussions!
For Professional Development to be meaningful, ensure the following:
Take the Lead
Instead of sitting and listening to the teacher speak for hours, during the professional development session; engage yourself in discussions so you can implement the teachings in the class room
Build on the Background Knowledge
Like how your students come to you for help, in a professional learning session be honest with your instructor about what’s going on in the class room and ask where you require help, to improve your teaching methodologies in class.
Try out New Tactics
In order to improve the standards of teachings in class, try out new tactics, and devise new strategies. Changing your class behavior in class might help engage the students more.
Keep in Mind all your Students
During your professional development, think how you can practically implement these strategies with students who are progress slowly in class. As a teacher, you will decide on what techniques will tweak and how.
Use of Technology
Maximize the use of technology during your professional training sessions. Implement the same in the classroom! Students these days are technology geeks; learning for them will be much more fun!