The Importance of Professional Development for Teachers
Reading is a complex process that requires the use of a variety of skills. These skills include, but are not limited to, phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. In order to become a successful reader, students must be able to use all of these skills together. The development of these skills is not always easy, which is why professional development for teachers is so important. Professional development can help teachers learn the best instructional strategies for teaching reading and help them implement those strategies in their classrooms.
2. What is professional development?
Professional development is defined as “the process through which teachers improve their knowledge, skills, and abilities” (Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005, p. 4). Professional development can take many different forms, including workshops, conferences, courses, mentoring programs, and online resources. It is important for professional development to be ongoing and continuous in order to be effective. Teachers need to have opportunities to learn new things and then be given time to implement what they have learned in their classrooms.
3. The benefits of professional development:
There are many benefits of professional development for both teachers and students. Professional development can help teachers learn new instructional strategies that they can use in their classrooms. It can also help them learn how to better use the instructional materials that they have available to them. In addition, professional development can help teachers build relationships with other community members, such as parents and school administrators. These relationships can be beneficial when it comes to planning and implementing school-wide initiatives. Finally, professional development can provide teachers with the opportunity to Reflect on their practice and receive feedback from colleagues.
4. The challenges of professional development:
While there are many benefits to professional development, there are also some challenges that need to be considered. One challenge is that professional development opportunities are not always readily available to all teachers. Another challenge is that even when professional development opportunities are available, they are not always affordable for all teachers. Additionally, some teachers may not have the time to participate in professional development activities outside of their regular work schedule. Finally, some teachers may not feel comfortable participating in activities that require them to share their personal beliefs or practices with others.
5. Professional development to improve reading instruction:
There are many different types of professional development activities that can help improve reading instruction. One type of activity is focused on teaching methods. This type of activity might involve learning about different ways to teach phonemic awareness or vocabulary. Another type of activity is focused on instructional materials. This type of activity might involve learning about different types of books or websites that can be used to support reading instruction. A third type of activity is focused on building relationships with community members. This type of activity might involve participating in a parent-teacher conference or attending a school board meeting.
6. Professional development to improve reading scores:
Professional development activities that focus on improving reading instruction can also help improve student achievement on standardized tests. In fact, a study by the National Institute for Literacy found that “professional development was associated with an increase in student achievement scores” (Marzano et al., 2005, p.). The study also found that the biggest gains were seen in students who participated in intensive professional development activities, such as summer institutes.
Professional development is an important part of being a teacher. It can help teachers learn new instructional strategies, use instructional materials more effectively, and build relationships with community members. Professional development can also help improve student achievement on standardized tests.
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