Teaching opens up a bunch of opportunities, like climbing the career ladder into leadership roles or focusing on subjects you love. Becoming a teacher isn't particularly challenging; you select a subject, undergo a teacher training program, and kickstart your career.
But it does not end here. There is always a gap called teacher development that is filled by continuous learning and improvement. As a teacher, you have to track your growth over time in order to develop your knowledge and skills and assess your teaching method. Here, we’ll discuss some strategies to monitor your growth.
What is professional development?
A school is a place of learning for both students and teachers. Professional development is enhancing the knowledge and skills of teachers and how they can transfer this to their students. In a classroom, students possess varying mindsets and IQ levels, requiring teachers to adapt and elevate their teaching approaches to meet diverse requirements. Consistent access to high-quality professional development provides teachers with the necessary tools to refine their teaching methods, ensuring a positive impact on students across various achievement levels.
Why is tracking your professional development important?
Whether you've been an educator for an extended period or recently started a teaching career, establishing goals is instrumental in determining your complete potential. This is where the significance of tracking professional development comes into play.
Monitoring a teacher's development isn't merely a necessity to fulfill accreditation criteria; it serves as a valuable tool to assess progress, recognize strengths, pinpoint areas for enhancement, and ultimately set meaningful goals.
How to track your growth over time?
A professional development plan is needed to grow in your career. In teaching, it provides a platform to articulate your goals, aspirations, and timeline, enabling you to evaluate how your progress aligns with your intended plans. Here are the following strategies that will help you assess your growth over time.
Setting clear and measurable goals is an important aspect of a professional development plan. For this, first of all, identify your objective, whether managing a classroom, wanting to make relationships strong with your students, or improving the instructional technique. Then, set goals and track your progress over time.
Be careful when setting goals; they should be specific and achievable.
Focus on feedback
Track your progress by actively seeking feedback from your colleagues, mentors, and even students. Constructive feedback provides valuable insights into areas for improvement that you might not have noticed. Create a feedback loop by implementing changes based on received feedback and monitoring the impact on your teaching approach.
Regular self-reflection is a powerful tool for professional growth. Take time to analyze your teaching methods, evaluate lesson plans, and reflect on classroom interactions. Prepare a reflective journal to document your thoughts, successes, and challenges, and continuously review it to identify patterns and measure your development.
Collaborate with colleagues
Collaboration with colleagues helps in building a supportive network by allowing you to share ideas, experiences, and resources. When you engage in a collaborative project or team teaching, you can find diverse teaching styles and methodologies that let you measure overall development.
Collect student work sample
The collection of student work samples is an important method for tracking your growth because it offers direct insight into the effectiveness of the teaching method and strategies. Analyzing these samples lets teachers evaluate whether their instructional approaches are translating into meaningful learning outcomes.
Strategies to make a professional development plan:
A professional development plan is an important tool to manage your growth. To develop a PDP, schools offer PD training to their teachers throughout their careers, and in some countries, PD training is necessary every year.
A successful professional development plan includes the following:
In conclusion, professional development is an ongoing process that helps you step into a senior leadership role or specialize in one subject. Various schools and platforms, provide you with professional development training throughout your career, so find the one that suits you the best.