A 30-year veteran educator reflects on the changing education landscape, and how teacher PD can better serve today’s teachers

3 ways to bring teacher PD into the 21st century

A 30-year veteran educator reflects on the changing education landscape, and how teacher PD can better serve today’s teachers

Teachers need the ability to create a personalized teacher PD experience that not only serves their school or district goals but also helps them best support every student in their classroom.

Offer Resource-Efficient Solutions

According to reports, many teachers say that outside of a handful of in-service professional development days provided by their districts, they have to pay for their own professional development. Some even have to take personal or sick days to get the PD they want or need. Consider, too, that they spend more than 65 hours annually on these activities.

As technology has infiltrated our lives and our classrooms, we have not adequately leveraged it to support the growth and development of our teachers. We need teacher PD that doesn’t pull them away from their students and families, and that doesn’t force them to dig deep into their own pockets. By delivering content online and on-demand we can reduce time teachers are spending out of the classroom and give them the flexibility to meet their PD goals in ways that serve them, and their students.

Improve Relevance and Timeliness

Today, teachers juggle an ever-growing list of demands on their time and energy: curating lessons, preparing for standardized tests, and serving as counselors, coaches, and confidantes, all while navigating staff shortages, COVID protocols, and cultural discord the likes of which my generation never confronted in the classroom. Despite this, 50 percent of all teachers feel current PD does not improve outcomes There’s a sense of urgency and timeliness to get teachers what they need to serve the kids they have.

Rather than having to wait for the next teacher workday to address what they’re facing in the classroom this week, teachers should have real-time access to diverse topics in the form of on-demand, personalized teacher PD content with a focus on preparation and planning, data-driven practices, instructional environment, and building relationships

A lot has indeed changed in education over the past three decades.  We must innovate the ways in which we support and develop our teachers. Communities across the country are already grappling with teacher shortages. If these challenges are left unaddressed, it could lead to further exodus from the profession at a time when the nation needs quality teachers more than ever. We cannot shy away from this for another 30 years.

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