Whereas in some countries, when you qualify as a teacher, you will always be a teacher, after you graduate from college or university that is it, you are set for a teaching life; in other parts of the world, an educator must continue to professionally develop or risk not getting their teaching license renewed. Different countries have varying requirements, such as the number of hours you must accomplish doing your professional development activities, and these range anywhere from 50 hours to 120 and beyond.
For you to keep relevant and abreast with the trending issues, approaches and research in education, you must continuously update your professional skills if you are to be relevant to the environment you are in.
Current trends emphasise that the teacher must learn alongside the students, and at the end of the year, give accountability for the professional development courses they have attended or the activities they have done towards their progress. These activities are quite many and can be in form of workshops, inset days (internal school workshops) conferences or education exhibitions or research about an aspect about teaching that the teacher must then find out about and apply the findings in their own teaching.
These courses can also be done online at the convenience of the teacher. They also do not necessarily have to be related to the subject matter; they could be about different aspects of the school life such as the health and safety of students, assessment, and testing, or the wellbeing of the children under the teachers’ care.
Believe me, professional development, or as they are popularly called — PD, are crucial to a teacher. Lately, some schools ask you to state what type of PD courses you have attended in the previous year on your curriculum Vitae or job application form. Although some attend the workshop, other schools totally ignore this very crucial aspect as they claim that it is useless as teachers may not use any other knowledge, methods or material that they have gained. Most schools claim that it is a waste of such good resources as the teachers can leave after the school has invested all these resources in them.
If you are an educator, you may want to think about getting your school to become more involved in resourcing personnel for the courses. You do not want your knowledge and skills base to become obsolete.