Hot Tips & Topics

We are dedicated to providing you with a comprehensive collection of relevant and up-to-date K-12 education news and editorials. For teachers, by teachers.

Professional Development Tips for Teachers

Janelle Cox

A professional educator is always learning and growing their craft. They are on an endless journey where they are always looking for new ideas or teaching strategies, ways to improve their skills, or new information that will help their students to succeed.

It takes a lot of hard work and effort to be a professional educator. It takes time to go to conferences and serve on committees.  It requires effort to go that extra mile for the students who need it, and it takes patience to continually grow and truly understand your craft as a teacher.

The rewards of being an educator go to the professionals who are willing to go that extra mile or use their spare time to help others. Here are a few professional development tips to help you continue to grow and become that professional educator that you deserve to be.

Professional Development: Promote Student Growth

As a professional educator, it’s essential that you take the time to promote student growth. This means the following.

Related Articles
A few classroom management ways to discover your students’ strengths, and help them bring the most success into their lives.
A few classroom management ways to discover your students’ strengths, and help...
To spice up your student discussions, teaching strategies, and activities, consider some of these crafty variations!
To spice up your student discussions, teaching strategies, and activities,...
Some questions to ask parents to help you use classroom management to build a long-lasting partnership which will help support their child’s learning.
Some questions to ask parents to help you use classroom management to build a...
A few teaching strategies for dealing with students who cry.
A few teaching strategies for dealing with students who cry.
Perfect teaching strategies to help your perfectionist students.
Perfect teaching strategies to help your perfectionist students.

  • Set high expectations for student achievement.
  • Use the most-recent educational technology.
  • Plan instructional strategies.
  • Apply higher-order thinking skills.
  • Use cooperative learning.
  • Apply classroom management techniques

While these are a just a few examples, the point that I’m trying to make is that you take the time to go a step further than just covering the basics year after year.

Make Use of Your Time

All too often, teachers forget how important their instructional time really is. While six to seven hours may seem like a lot of time to get things done, you have to remember that a lot of that time isn’t instructional. So, when you have those blocks of time with your students, you must make good use of it. Here’s what you should be doing.

  • Focusing your students’ attention on the task at hand.
  • Using materials and technology appropriately.
  • Maintaining a flow or rhythm in the classroom.
  • Evaluating classroom instruction.
  • Planning according to student ability (differentiated instruction).
  • Optimizing the time for the task at hand.

Improve Your Performance

The essence of a teacher is to help others. This is why it may so hard for educators to look at themselves to see what they can improve upon. Here are a few tips to help you improve your performance as a teacher.

  1. Read – Join a professional scholarly journal, go online and read educational blogs, or read some literature on education. Knowledge is power.
  2. Participate – Go to educational conferences or workshops, or attend online seminars. Participation in these types of event will make you a more effective teacher.
  3. Join a Group – There are many groups you that you can join, online and off. All of these groups are a great source of information as well as inspiration. You can learn a lot from other professionals who have years of experience.
  4. Observe Your Peers – An effective teacher takes the time to observe other teachers. These teachers can be a great source of knowledge for you. You can find a new strategy to teach or behavior management plan to implement.
  5. Share – Once you have improved your performance, then you should share your knowledge with others. Contribute to your profession, and others will be thankful.

 Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks

Have you ever heard the phrase “Without a risk, there is no reward”? Oftentimes, teachers get so comfortable in their daily lives that they forget to take a risk. A risk may be trying that teaching strategy that you have always wanted to try, or implementing that piece of technology that you have heard so much about. Before you try something new in your classroom, make sure that you do your research about it. This will help you take that risk. Try observing other teachers who may have already implemented that strategy or piece of technology. By taking these steps, you are using a common-sense approach to the risk, and are more likely to try it.

An effective teacher isn’t afraid to talk to other educators and learn from them. They are willing to continue to learn their craft and take risks. They take the time to promote student growth as well as improve their own performance. They are always learning and always growing.

Do you have any professional development tips for teachers? Please share your tips in the comment section below, we would love to hear your ideas.

Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.