Teachers should consider professional development this holiday

While it is undeniable that teachers need rest and that we have our own personal (essential) things to do over the holidays, the risk of reporting back to class rusty is one we can’t afford.

Somewhere between the rest and personal matters, we must find room for professional development. The world is changing and the students we have are both diverse and informed making the modern classroom a field for a battle of intellect. The only way to cope is to acquaint ourselves with the modern methods and diversify our approaches to teaching.

The government, through the ministry of education should therefore organize such programs for teachers to share their experiences and learn new approaches. Definitely, student achievement depends on rigorous standards and a knowledgeable education team. To have high standards for students, there must be high standards for the staff members who work with them. This is almost impossible without continuous development courses.

Individual schools can also plan these professional development programs within their schools. The fact is that we must pay close attention to a teachers continuous development because teachers have the greatest impact on student learning. By valuing the performance and building the capabilities of our teachers - particularly their expertise, intellectual development, professional judgment and collegial networks - we improve education outcomes for students. With Professional development, teachers are able to keep their skill sets fresh and learn new skills.

The science of teaching constantly finds new ways to get through to students, but that’s not the only reason professional development is important for teachers. Teachers also need to be able to prepare their students to succeed in a changing world — they need to be able to teach students how to use emerging technologies, how to navigate evolving workplaces, how to communicate effectively, and how to think critically and solve problems. The more professional development teachers get, the more likely students are to succeed.

It is critical for teachers to have ongoing and regular opportunities to learn from each other. Ongoing professional development keeps teachers up-to-date on new research on how children learn, emerging technology tools for the classroom, new curriculum resources, and more.

Fortunately, it’s easy for teachers to take professional development into their own hands by enrolling in an online professional development program. Most of these online programs give teachers the opportunity to learn more effective teaching methods, refresh their own knowledge of the subject matter, gain insight into the education industry, enhance their planning skills, and continue their education. This is an opportunity we really don’t want to miss.

Better yet, teachers can enroll in the universities to upgrade as student teachers. This gives them opportunity to be mentored by experienced teachers in an actual classroom setting. The upgrade courses not only provide content but also the modern methods to impart knowledge. It is the best way to advance in your career.

The writer is a Language Consultant