Professional Development Trends for Teachers in 2020

by Ella Wilson
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Teacher development, their effective techniques, and mistakes are often shrouded by loopholes in student learning and development. Over the past years, experts have stressed so much upon the importance of enhanced learning through student development that the role of a teacher has started to seem negligible. With the advent of the internet and technology, it is as if students have too much power in their hands that they don’t know how to utilize.

Professional development is of extreme importance when it comes to enhanced learning for students. Without proper guidance from teachers, students may not be able to aptly execute the learning techniques they see on the internet. However, considering the fast-changing techniques and trends among students, it can be hard to stay in the loop for teachers. The concept of professional development helps the teacher stay connected to the recent trends in the educational system so they can provide the best education to students.

Importance of Pedagogical Development

  • The main goal of PD for teachers is to increase student outcomes. Its importance could be realized from the fact that pedagogical development is directly correlated with student performance. Repetitive teaching methods can become ineffective and boring when teachers are not expanding their learning.
  • A big part of PD is analyzing own performance to add an intervention in order to improve it. When there is no analysis, it becomes impossible for the teacher to put a finger on the cause of student failure. A teacher who doesn’t know what’s not working out for the student, or the areas that he/she may lack, can’t make changes in teaching techniques to improve it.
  • A teacher involved in active PD shows interest in the classroom which would in turn increase student engagement in class. Students rarely ever pay attention in a classroom where the teacher doesn’t show enough interest. Continuous development is proof that the educator cares about the students and their learning, boosting class performance
  • The personal development of teachers is extremely important to keep with the fast tech-generation. Teachers are usually clueless about the latest tech topics and digital learning methods. Students miss out on a lot when teachers haven’t caught up with global learning techniques. Professional development is extremely important to ensure that your students benefit from the best.

6 Top Trends for Highly Effective PD

  • Differentiated Instruction

One of the most common issues that all teachers face is differentiated learning. It is a fact that every student has different needs and not all teaching methods work for every student. It is a challenge for teachers to effectively teach all the students in one session. This is a critical issue that requires professional training. In PD teachers can learn how to deal with different students who have complex needs so that the overall class performance can be enhanced.

  • Peer Observation

Observing fellow teachers can be effective for educators who are not taking PD training, but are enthusiastic about developing on their own. Looking at more senior and experienced peers and their teaching methods can be helpful to shape and find out your own teaching techniques. Analyzing what works for their students and what doesn’t would teach you a lot about professional teaching. Especially if you are new to teaching, learning from the best and old ones in the field is one of the best training methods when it comes to professional development.

  • Continuing education

Some experts argue that teachers should pay their undivided attention to their profession, however, many believe that continuing their own education while teaching can have a positive impact on the professional development of a teacher. As much as you learn, you keep finding out new things. Not only that but when you are a student yourself, you are much more equipped to understand the student mentality and how their brain works. Studying while teaching won’t only expand your area of expertise and knowledge, but will provide you a better understanding of your students’ minds.

  • Attending Teaching Conferences

Even if you are a teacher who is strictly dedicated to teaching and not studying, experts recommend keeping learning new things. Instead of taking regular classes, you can register yourself in learning groups and courses. This is one of the key parts of Professional development training. Attending seminars, webinars, and conferences would help you learn new things each day, network with fellow educators and stay in the loop with recent trends in the educational world. This technique is best for the teachers who don’t want to study further but want to learn more in order to be the best teacher for their students.

  • Online Learning

As mentioned earlier, students need to be aware of the latest digital learning techniques and they should find out about them from their teachers. When students take online leaning in their own hands, it rarely ever does any good. If you are a teacher who is not necessarily best at understanding technology and the digital world, then you may want to join PD training and familiarize yourself with latest learning trends. There are so many new pedagogical inventions that are based on applications and computer software. It is important to teach your students about these techniques so they can compete with fellow students in the real world.

  • Closing the Achievement Gap

Another common challenge in a large university class is the achievement gap. While some students are exceptionally gifted, others struggle with very basic information and knowledge. It is the job of a teacher to make sure that the achievement gap in the same class is bridged through effective teaching. These effective teaching methods could be learned in PD training. A general educational approach can be applied when the skill level of the entire class is leveled. Balancing the achievement gap in class will make it easier for the teacher to move towards advanced learning.

Teaching is not for everyone, no matter how highly educated you are. Sometimes teachers have valuable degrees and tons of knowledge and information but, all the knowledge is useless if the teacher doesn’t know how to deliver it to the students. Improving student learning is the main goal of any teacher and teaching skills and methods are extremely important to adequately deliver knowledge. Professional development allows continuous improvement to those who are well qualified and want to put their degrees to good use by sharing their wisdom with the students in an effective way.

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