It is our responsibility to understand how much has been invested through research, academic credentials, high-quality long-term courses, quality master trainers, professional community of practice, recognition and recognition in their professional development.
Teacher professional development (TPD) is an integral part of any reform initiative in a country. In the last 5 years, online TPD courses have gained traction (for various obvious reasons – scale, cost and durability) and more recently, due to the epidemic. In view of the changing times, it is essential that TPD not only be improved and updated, but also make teachers more collaborative in developing their skills and growing in their profession. Above all, the professional education of teachers motivates children to start the learning process and grow up.
1. Teachers can ACE their training
Assessment, content and engagement are the three most important criteria for creating an effective teacher professional development course. Those who are creating this content should keep in mind the ACE model. The main thing is to be busy with the content and around! There should be ample opportunity to engage through activities that allow teachers to ask, observe, discuss, reflect, think, analyze, critique the content given to them. Adequate opportunities for engagement help in the effective understanding and application of new teaching methods and practices.
2. Teachers develop through reflection and feedback on their practice
Like any other profession, teachers need the opportunity to put their teaching into practice, to correct their mistakes, to return to the helper / trainer and ask their questions and to hear the success stories of their peers. This gives them a chance to reflect on their practice. Therefore, any TPD course / program should have a built-in time for reflection by the teacher. A course that allows time for theoretical learning and practical application that will fully assist in the development of a teacher’s knowledge and skill-set.
3. Constant busyness leads to real change in education
Teachers need a program that engages them on a regular basis in their regular breaks. Teachers teach what they believe. Therefore, in order to change the teaching method, they have to be confident in their level of faith and it happens over time. Therefore, any TPD program should be uninterrupted in nature; Consistency in terms of consistent handling by a caregiver.
4. Requires quality upskilling courses offered at regular intervals
Like any other profession – medicine, law, management, etc. – professionals need to continuously review their professional knowledge through upskilling courses.
Similarly, in teaching, teachers need to broaden their perspective and enhance their skills as they are a source of strength and consciousness in the classroom and in the school. This can be done by creating quality TPD courses, and reorganizing existing ones, and offering them at regular intervals throughout their careers, to follow their own wishes. Fortunately, the National Education Policy 2020 places a great emphasis on bridging this gap!
5. Teachers learn best through collaboration
Learning is a complex process and requires both personal time and social interaction with peers.
However, research into teacher professional development indicates that teachers learn best when they are part of a progressive professional learning community, called community of practice (CoPs).
These CoPs, run by teachers and for teachers, provide an essential safe place to share one’s raw ideas without fear of being judged. It is a source of strength and inspiration, a place for unconditional and unwavering support. It’s fun to learn together, to fail together and to rise together! Therefore, CoP should be offered to teachers in all TPD courses.
Teachers achieve their satisfaction by watching their students learn and grow. They want to go the extra mile to meet the needs of their students. While it is easy to blame teachers for student outcomes, how they are nurtured and how much is invested (research, academic credentials, high-quality long-term courses, quality master trainers, professional community practice, recognition and recognition) in their professional development.