Your professional development is essential to your success and longevity as a teacher. Learning new things and trying them out is an important part of developing and honing your skills.
I regularly receive emails from teachers asking me for advice on how to plan their professional development.
Here are 7 questions you can ask to effectively plan your professional development:
Question 1: Desire
What area/s do I want to grow in?
This is all about what you are passionate about. What really gets you motivated and enthused? What do you love learning about? What areas are you interested in?
Question 2: Need
In what areas do I need to grow in?
This is different to passion and desire. This question is all about being honest with yourself and acknowledging the areas in your teaching and in your development that you need to work on. Show humility and be honest with yourself and identify those areas that you need to develop.
Question 3: Timing
What times of day/month/term/year are best suited for my professional development?
When do you want to do your PD? During the day? After school? In the evening? Once you know your preferred timing you can look for Professional Development that suits you.
For example, most casual teachers prefer professional development that can be done outside school hours and in the holidays. (Casual teachers: the Online Professional Development Program is perfect for you).
Question 4: Role & Responsibility
What does my role at school and my responsibilities at school require of me?
Most teachers need to continually develop their area of expertise – e.g. art teachers attend art PD course; IT people attend IT related courses.
If you have a new role or responsibility, or perhaps you are a new leader in your school, then most likely you will attend Professional Development courses suited to those new roles/responsibilities.
Question 5: Budget
What are my budget restraints/guidelines?
How much can you/your school spend on professional development? Knowing your approximate budget will help you make wise decisions in choosing your PD.
Question 6: Variety
Am I varying the kinds of PD that I am participating in?
Exposing yourself to a variety of PD formats is an important part of your development. As you plan your PD, be sure to include a variety, such as:
Question 7: Accountability & Wisdom
Who can help me make these decisions?
A great way to ensure your professional development is relevant and appropriately challenging, find someone who you can talk to about your PD. This might be a supervisor or your principal or team leader. Find someone who you can ask for advice and who can help give direction to your Professional Development plan. Involve this person in the decision making process.
Ask these 7 questions as you plan your upcoming professional development. You can check out some of my upcoming webinars here.
Enjoy the journey,
And more importantly, enjoy the moments.
QUESTION: How do you make decisions about Professional Development? I’d love to hear your comments.