PETERBOROUGH, N.H. — June 23, 2011 — In a typical K–12 classroom, teachers face a wide array of student abilities, learning styles, interests, knowledge and levels of motivation. Teachers need the skills to address increasingly challenging classroom dynamics, differentiate their instructional strategies to meet student needs, and implement sophisticated intervention strategies to close the achievement gap for struggling students. However, in a recent survey of teachers and administrators conducted by Staff Development for Educators (SDE), 86 percent of respondents cited classroom management as one of the top challenges new teachers face. More than two-thirds (71.9 percent) indicated that differentiating instruction is a particular concern, while four out of five teachers (83.1 percent) noted that delivering effective intervention strategies is among new teachers’ greatest difficulties.

SDE, the leading provider of professional development training, seminars and conferences, and educator resources, recently polled more than 450 new and experienced teachers and administrators to learn more about the challenges that new teachers face and the resources that help them succeed.

One out of three (34 percent) educators indicated that college did not adequately prepare them to teach; making the transition from student to effective teacher more demanding. However, to ease that transition, many teachers participate in ongoing, high-quality professional development programs. More than half of the respondents (56.9 percent) indicated that they attended public conferences and seminars early in their career to bolster their skills; with 82.2 percent participating in on-site professional development workshops and programs as new teachers. Nearly three-quarters (71.3 percent) of those who were surveyed find on-site training extremely appealing in offering new teachers practical strategies for succeeding in the classroom.

“We believe that teachers—new and experienced—are dedicated to meeting their students’ diverse learning needs,” said Gerald Hughes, president of SDE. “The message from teachers is clear: they want ongoing professional development that will help them improve their teaching skills and increase their students’ overall level of achievement. They are looking for help in differentiating instruction and offering appropriate interventions, all within an environment conducive to learning.”

For 25 years, SDE has served the professional development needs of districts, schools and educators from across the country and around the world by giving teachers an opportunity to learn the best techniques from the best teachers and thought-leaders in K–12 education. Each year, countless administrators and teachers learn real classroom strategies and practical, proven techniques through regional seminars, national conferences, on-site consulting services and online learning programs.

Hughes added, “If educators are to successfully prepare students for the future, they must be prepared for the future themselves. An ever-changing range of classroom needs requires teachers to constantly expand their knowledge and skills to support every student.”

To learn more about SDE, please visit www.sde.com or call 1-800-462-1478.

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