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, or to decide on continuing on the education path, if necessary. 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.
Promote Student Growth
As a professional educator, it’s essential that you take the time to promote student growth. This means the following.
- 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. 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.
- Using materials and technology appropriately.
- Maintaining a flow or rhythm in the classroom.
- Evaluating classroom instruction.
- Differentiating instruction according to student ability.
- 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 be 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.
- Read – Join a professional scholarly journal, go online and read educational blogs, or read some literature on education. Knowledge is power.
- Participate – Go to educational conferences or workshops, or attend online seminars. Participation in these types of event will make you a more effective teacher.
- 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.
- 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.
- Share – Once you have improved your performance, you should share your knowledge with others. Contribute to your profession, and others will be thankful.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks
Oftentimes, teachers get so comfortable in their daily lives that they forget to take risks. A risk may be trying that teaching strategy that you have always wanted to try or implementing that piece of educational 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.
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.