How Teacher Professional Development Affects Student Achievement

A good student is a product of a good teacher; a teacher who knows the rudimentary and necessary skills required in the teaching profession. The teacher who looks beyond the weaknesses of an average student to discover their potential, then works to develop that potential. Becoming that teacher takes more than professionalism and natural abilities. It has more to do with personal, and professional, development which involves steps and procedures in order to achieve. In a nutshell, professional development is a kind of an improved education program designed to better enhance every teacher’s professional career. This can be done through workshops, seminars and special classes or courses. They are most effective when the said development is channeled to their subject areas.

It is not easy for an average teacher to develop themselves professionally. Some even go as far as having a kind of phobia which may be due to the overwhelming volume of stipulated courses available in any given development program. In the course of a program, trainers take the participating teachers through some professional advice based on their research and personal experiences. They educate them about what to do in regards to modern professional teaching ethics and practices. For example, one of the most popular topics during a teacher professional development training program is how to concentrate on areas where the students lack the ability to perform, but there is also a benefit in considering those areas the teacher thinks their students have perfected or excel.

What is Teacher Professional Development?
Teacher professional development is a program designed to inform teachers of the best practices guiding the profession. Among the topics offered include how a teacher should adapt modern technological advancement in their professional career to make an impact, as well as understand different child psychological temperaments so as to tailor approaches that best suit their learning styles while acknowledging their needs. Many things make up a professional teacher, but what motivated his or her decision to enroll into a teacher development program is what makes them stand out from their peers. One unique thing a teacher development program does is to guide an average teacher on ways to understand his or her student’s pattern of thinking. A professional teacher gets to a point where they have to improve in their knowledge on a particular field, most preferably with a certification which the course offers that can be included in a teacher’s portfolio. Though preferable, it must not necessarily be formal training resulting in a certificate. As a matter of fact, the informal method of sharing knowledge is a way to develop yourself professionally. Simply go to a colleague for any question associated with your professional improvement. It doesn’t have to be simply asking and getting answers but can involve discussing a particular topic with colleagues. It is just as beneficial to simply have an academic conversation about the topic then hear their opinion on the subject. With some basic self-assessment tools, academic conversation with colleagues, as well as professional development courses will help teacher to improve and facilitates better teacher-student interaction.

In countries where education is given top priority, the professional development of teachers is an obligatory task every teacher must achieve on a yearly basis to remain certified. In some countries, school boards or the local schools themselves set a particular time of the year for teacher professional development training.

Reasons for Professional Training
Due to the fact that education is an on-going process, teacher professional development must be continual in order to meet the academic demands of the profession. The process of a professional development program not only equips the teacher with modern teaching techniques, technology and teaching trends but also enables the trainee to meet with other like-minded professionals within the education field.

As far as education is concerned, every teacher should become acquainted with new topics regardless of whether they may be associated with their subject area. As such, teacher should endeavor to attend training for many different topics. As a result, teachers who engage in training on new concepts or that are outside their subject area end up being the ones who offer the best teaching performance to their students. Every good teacher requires new experiences and insights in order to cover a broader area academically.

Methods Teachers Can Use to Acquire Professional Development Training and Its Affect on Students.
As previously mentioned, taking professional development courses remains one of the best forms of acquiring new skills in the teaching profession. When we say training, it doesn’t necessarily mean the conventional training hosted by corporations or government organizations. It could be something teachers do daily or that they consider as “not part of the learning process” (i.e. outside the classroom that can unknowingly contribute to their professional development. Regardless, structured training courses resulting in a certificate of professional development are beneficial. Below are some of the common topics on professional development from attending professional development courses though there are many others:

1. Concentration in Common Standards – maintaining common standards is a very powerful tool in the teaching profession and also in the professional development process. This common standard method helps each teacher understand his/her responsibility and usefulness in the chosen standard.
2. Assessment and Evaluation – in this kind of professional development course, offering a single session or weekly assessment and evaluation will provide educators as well as administrators new ways to assess students in more than one content area. Indeed, not all assessments are meant to take the old-fashioned paper and pencil path. It examines new and varied ways to conduct both formative and summative assessment.
3. Closing the Achievement Gap – some student comes into classrooms with varied backgrounds and levels which will impact their ability and motivation to learn. Regardless of the reasons, it falls upon the teacher to ensure students become moativated and achieve the goals of the course. As such, teachers must learn varying techniques to close the achievement gap.
4. Childhood Involvement – this method of professional development will not only benefit the teacher but the pupil as well. It gives early childhood educators the required skill they need in helping young pupils develop and achieve. Aside from the conventional teaching strategy, this method of early childhood involvement looks at basic challenges like reading, writing, and math.
5. Guided Reading – this method has been around for some time, whether you are new to the method or not, this will help guide you through all the levels of reading to ensure maximum student comprehension. In addition, it will assist individual educators to evaluate their students more effectively hence make them stronger as the training continues.

In conclusion, teacher professional development will help teachers to become more effective educators to ensure all their students achieve academically regardless of the challenges they may face. It equips a teacher to assist the students to achieve not only their academic goals but life goals as well.

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