Part of being a teacher is recognizing the need for continual professional growth. Sometimes this professional growth comes from an intense professional development session. Other times it comes from a mistake you have made and learned from. Alternately growth can come from a student blowing your mind with something they say or do. Ultimately though, all growth helps us, as teachers, to stay on the edge of our seats and on our toes all the time.
Why Do Happy Teachers Take Professional Development Seriously?
How Happy Teachers Continue to Learn
-There are some truly amazing podcasts out there for teachers with everything from best practice to encouraging teachers. Two of my favorites are Cult of Pedagogy and Angela Watson’s Truth for Teachers. I love to download an episode to my phone and listen to it during a commute. Sometimes I will listen to the same episode multiple times and really let it sink in. I also have my favorites that I go back to when I know I need to hear that message again.
-There are a million and one professional books when it comes to teaching and they vary in subject matter greatly. Books are a great way to experience growth personally because you can move at your own pace. Alternately you can get your team or a group of colleagues together and do a book study. This always worked well for me, because I needed that accountability.
Some of the best professional books I have read lately:
The Strategic Teacher
Never Work Harder Than Your Students
Teach Like a Pirate
For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood
Read educational news
-There are a ton of very informative websites out there that will keep you in the know when it comes to educational policy, best practice, and developments in the field. By spending a few minutes every week reading articles you can really show what you know to your colleagues.
-Not all TED Talks relate directly to education, but I am willing to bet that you can find a connection. Additionally, there is a vast number that ARE directly about education. I always feel inspired and ready to go after listening to a TED Talk.
Shadow a colleague
-One of my favorite things to do as a teacher is watching other teachers teach. We as a group are an inspirational bunch, and while we share a lot, we also have very different ideas and styles. By observing one another teaching from time to time we are able to take back the best of what we see to our own classrooms, while potentially offering some constructive feedback to who we observed.
-I am making the assumption that since you are here you know the power of teaching blogs, but let me just say teacher-bloggers are an inspiration to me!
Hold your own training
-If you have something that you are passionate and knowledgeable about ask your admin if you can present to your campus. Odds are they will bend over backward to make it happen! At our campus, we have 1/2 hour optional training on Mondays that were presented by teachers. We called this time Grow Your Garden and looked at it as a way to learn a little bit more about new topics in a “bite-sized” format.
How to Get the Most Out of Professional Development
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