Why is Professional Development Important for Teachers?

Posted on July 07, 2011

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Have you ever heard anyone say, “Why do teachers need continuing education… didn’t they go to college?” While it is true that teachers attend college and earn degrees, it is also true that nourishing the ongoing professional growth of teachers is critical to ensure that the best and brightest reach our most precious commodity—our youth.

Teachers are challenged to teach all students, regardless of their ability levels. They are asked to differentiate their teaching approaches to accommodate each student’s learning style. As a parent, accommodating my two children each day to ensure that their needs were met was consuming. Why do we expect teachers to design effective lesson plans aligned to state standards, ready their students for statewide assessments, manage elementary and adolescent behavior, understand and use data to make informed decisions, keep the lines of communication open with parents, and deliver instruction that engages students and improves achievement from the first day on the job and without sustained support?

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Author: Ellen Eisenberg, Eye on Education