The idea of student-centered learning teaching has taken the world by storm and, more recently, in a far more constructive manner than ever before. While curriculums and institutes have often spoken highly of their student-centric approach, it often resulted in a one-size-fits-all approach that never really worked well for everyone.
With the sudden shift brought about by the pandemic, the world saw a truly new meaning to student-centric teaching methodologies. This transformation didn’t happen overnight, and for those behind the scenes, it proved to be a major challenge.
Educators and teachers suddenly found themselves catapulted to a completely digital world, one that most were not fully equipped for. While training solution providers like the digital textbook platform KITABOO can often play a role here by giving teachers the tools they need to utilize technology and new teaching methods to the fullest, the process remains a challenge.
This brought a great deal of focus on teachers’ professional development. Today, we’ll dive into the various ways in which teachers’ professional development can be delivered and how it can benefit the overall learning mechanism for both students and teachers themselves.
Table of Contents
- Giving Teachers the Opportunity to Collaborate
- Leveraging Technology to Aid Professional Development
- Providing Resources to Help Develop Crucial Skills
- Improved Learning Outcomes
- Diversity in Teaching Methodologies
- Students are Equipped with Practical Knowledge
III. In Conclusion
How to Provide the Right Professional Development at the K-12 Level
Here are various ways in which schools can ensure the professional development of their teachers while empowering them in the process:
Giving Teachers the Opportunity to Collaborate
While this might seem like it needs no mentioning, one of the most crucial and effective ways of empowering teachers is by giving them the space to collaborate with their peers. The idea of collaborating and teamwork are often discussed when speaking about the students, but not so much about their teachers.
Just like students learn key values and skills while gaining knowledge from collaborating with their peers, teachers too can gain a lot from the process. Be it different teaching methods, ideas on how to address varying student needs, or learning key skills that could be useful in the classroom, collaboration can open the door to a great deal of value.
Collaboration also gives teachers the space to discuss potential problems and find innovative solutions for them while also pushing for access to professional development resources and tools whenever needed.
Leveraging Technology to Aid Professional Development
As mentioned earlier, the shift to a completely digital form of teaching proved to be rather challenging for teachers. Students, on the other hand, were quick to adapt, even if it was limited to making their way around the various tools, software, or e-learning platforms that were in use.
This shed a great deal of light on the need to ensure that teachers were equipped with the basic skills they needed to leverage technology in various aspects of their profession.
Be it the use of ed-tech or digital publishing platforms or the use of digital training solutions, acquiring the basic skills can help teachers focus more on the material rather than figuring their way around the software themselves. This reduces overall mental fatigue and enables teachers to use their time more efficiently.
Schools and school districts must ensure that teachers have access to these tools and programs so they can upskill themselves while being able to leverage them in their teaching methodologies.
Technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Virtual Reality (VR), and so on play a big role in education technology today. When teachers are given the resources needed to leverage these to their fullest potential, they can empower themselves while meeting students’ learning objectives.
Providing Resources to Help Develop Crucial Skills
Just as time goes by, it’s essential for teachers to keep up with the changing trends in their field of study or specialization. However, this doesn’t always happen, and the reasons for this are varied.
They include a combination of a lack of motivation and engagement, being overworked, and a lack of effort to provide teachers with the resources to broaden their knowledge and skills.
This is where it becomes crucial for schools to invest in training solutions to ensure that teachers keep themselves updated with the relevant skills and knowledge they need to deliver the best results.
However, this must also come with a reduction of the teachers’ existing burden, as making them attend seminars or take training modules aside from an already busy workday can lead to fatigue and will defeat the purpose.
The right balance of tools that help make teachers’ work more efficient, thereby saving them time, and the use of training solutions to help them improve their skills is the need of the hour.
How Can Teachers' Professional Development Benefit Students?
Empowering teachers by way of their professional development can have a remarkable impact on student performance. Some of these benefits include –
Improved Learning Outcomes
When teachers possess the skills and knowledge needed to teach subjects in the most intuitive and engaging manner possible, students stand a better chance of learning and retaining new information.
This covers both theoretical and practical knowledge and can help students meet their learning outcomes with ease.
Diversity in Teaching Methodologies
Every student learns differently. This difference is one of the reasons why traditional rote learning is being proven to be inadequate in meeting the needs of individual students.
When teachers access various resources and get the opportunity to communicate with their peers, this helps them learn newer and more innovative ways of teaching.
These methods can then be put to use to ensure that students have a better chance of understanding the subject regardless of their preferred learning technique.
Students are Equipped with Practical Knowledge
One of the biggest disconnects that students face when graduating from their K-12 level and moving into university or from university to the workforce is that they often find themselves ill-equipped with the practical skills needed to perform at the workplace.
This leads to a lot of learning on the job. If teachers keep up with the trends in their respective industries, they can equip students with the skills they need for a seamless transition to the next step of their education or even career.
Empowering teachers by way of their professional development has countless benefits to the overall education sector. It benefits teachers, students, and even schools themselves.
On the one hand, teachers can keep up with the trends and requirements of their respective fields of study and can thereby equip students with the skills they need to excel in their careers.
It also helps improve engagement levels among teachers, motivates them to continue learning, and improves their sense of satisfaction at the workplace. With the right professional development resources, such as the ones offered by the digital textbook platform KITABOO, schools can help empower their teachers and ensure improved results all around.
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