In most professions, professional development is essential in building your craft, growing your knowledge base and boosting your productivity and performance at work. This holds true for doctors, nurses, chefs, marketing professionals, mechanics, etc. For now though, let’s focus on professional development for educators and why it is so vital to not only your success, but your students, as well.
Professional development, sometimes called continuing education or staff development, can either be done in the form of a seminar, a class, or something less formal like research or collaborative learning. Regardless, whether done in-person or virtually, professional development is meant to provide a solid form of education to professionals to further enhance their skillset within their area of expertise.
Why do educators need professional development? Best practices in education are always changing, and so is the research. When you are working with students with moderate to severe disabilities, ensuring that your own education is up to date is critical to being successful as an educator, as well as in helping your students meet their own educational goals. Participating in professional development gives you the keys to face new challenges and to try new techniques in the classroom that may yield more effective learning outcomes for your students with moderate to severe disabilities.
Professional development is not a one-size-fits-all approach and can look slightly different for educators based on the district they work within. For example, some administrators may require continuing education for its staff when new technology is implemented, or when new research surfaces that could benefit the student population. In other cases, a teacher may take it upon themselves to find new professional development opportunities that could help strengthen their teaching approach.
Professional development for educators can take place in person or virtually. Many districts allocate certain days within the calendar year specifically for continuing education purposes. The staff development classes themselves may occur on the school’s campus so that the teachers are able to put their new skills to the test immediately after. Professional development can also take place at different educational conferences or workshops. On the contrary, teachers can participate in continuing education virtually, whether that be through a webinar or online course.
The goal of professional development is to improve your learning so that you can move forward in your professional role to the best of your ability. When you’re learning, your audience (in this case, your students with moderate to severe disabilities) are also learning.
The good news? As part of TeachTown’s commitment to improving student performance and teacher satisfaction, we offer various types of professional development for educators— on-site training, webinars, online courses and more.
In addition, TeachTown’s team of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) can work with your school or district to customize a professional development plan that fits your schedule and your budget.
TeachTown is an education company that offers educators, clinicians and parents proven, ready-to-use solutions that aim to measurably improve the academic, behavioral and adaptive functioning of students with moderate to severe disabilities.
Interested in learning more about TeachTown’s professional development opportunities? Request a demo to find out what TeachTown offers and how it can help foster your own professional growth.