The benefit of professional development (PD) for teachers is well known: improving teaching practices means greater student achievement. What’s less frequently acknowledged is that PD programs are often so wracked with issues that they’re rendered ineffective, if not downright detrimental.

Impractical, infrequent, identical—teachers’ complaints about PD programs run the gamut. Unless school administrators address these problems, they risk wasting not only time, energy, funding, and other scarce resources, but squandering the unique opportunity for teacher growth and student advancement.

Below are three common issues that teachers have with PD, as well as suggestions for how administrators can tackle them. Consider it...

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  • About the Author:

    Cathy Vandewater is a New York City-based education writer for, a comprehensive resource for information on becoming a great teacher in any state across the country.