It has been said that the best teachers are thieves. Star teachers are those who are always striving to find the best practices for their classrooms. Educators can attain much knowledge from attending conferences, seminars, or attain advanced degrees; but in most cases, there is a wealth of knowledge in the very building in which they teach. The best professional development for teachers must, however, appreciate the role of collaboration.
Professional development (PD) programs provide educators the ability to use a variety of instructional practices that are deemed helpful for the current times. A majority of the programs concentrate on students’ reasoning and what process they use to problem solve. Teachers are trained to notice how students learn a particular subject matter. Teachers are then taught different instructional practices that relate directly to the topic and how to tell if the student can comprehend the methods that are being used to teach the material.
While our field’s rapid evolution is exciting to watch, it also signals the importance of ongoing professional development. For educators with limited resources (time, monetary, or access), the challenge comes in the form of weighing options. There are five paradigms of professional development (PD) open to language educators. Following is a detailed highlight of each paradigm, alongside suggestions for language lecturers interested in ongoing PD.
Students having access to this form of learning have a better understanding of the concept, yet still, keep all of their core competencies. Reading and English classes help educators learn how to improve their knowledge of word sounds and structures. Through this method, teachers spend more time going over building blocks of words and language with their students which boost their reading and comprehension test scores.
Common Planning is critical in the teaching profession. Providing a common planning time based on subject area is a great way for educators in the same subject area to work together and share ideas. This is particularly useful for new tutors to have additional resources other than his/her assigned mentor. Besides, it is vital to appoint a group leader who can facilitate the collaboration process and keep the team focused on the task at hand.
The Profession comes in handy. Language tutors are members of a global professional community. PD with this third paradigm involves engaging with colleagues, contributing to and learning from a collective pool of knowledge. This includes conference attendance, publication, participation in formal workshops or coursework and online communities. These PD opportunities center on teachers finding their community.
Another way to ensure that PD creates a positive impact in classrooms is by connecting the development program directly to the educator’s school district and states’ academic standards and curriculums. The courses provide teachers with a way to directly apply what they learn in the workshop to their teaching. Many times, PD classes help tutors receive higher assessments and evaluations scores because they can use the information they learned and direct it to their students’ learning experiences.
Personal Goals are also significant. This paradigm identifies the teacher’s personal career goals as a critical element when considering ongoing PD. Personal career goals do not always align with institutional initiatives or changing policies, but rather focus on the long-range career aspirations of the teacher. Identifying these goals and keeping them in mind helps teachers take advantage of career-building opportunities when they arise, even though these opportunities may have little to do with his or her immediate teaching context.
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Author: Raymond RossThis author has published 1 articles so far.