Learning Never Stops: Continuing Education for Teachers
If students have to learn, teachers have to continue their studies, too. Teachers ensure that their education continues through enrollment at local or online classes, symposiums, conferences, and mandated training sessions. Continuing education for teachers has a ton of personal and professional benefits not just for individual educators, but the institutions they work for as well.
A Show of Competency
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is evidence of a teacher’s competence and dedication to their profession. CPD credits update a teacher’s knowledge base and ensure that they keep up with the latest developments in teaching techniques and subject matter.
An updated skill set can also push teachers toward promotions or offers from other schools. University professors need to publish papers and get further education to qualify for tenure. Even kindergarten teachers need to have their child caring techniques updated to fit the development needs of their students.
Federal and Local Requirements
CPD literally gives teachers credentials or physical proof of their competence. Federal and local requirements mandate CPD as part of several laws. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act or the No Child Left Behind Act and Common Core State Standards are federal laws that tie CPD requirements to funding.
Each state has different time and standards for licensing renewal. In states that removed mandatory requirements, local school districts are allowed to set the requirements for their teachers. The individual needs and capacities of each school are considered in setting these requirements.
Take What You Want
Classes relevant to a teacher’s core capacities are a must. A language workshop for teachers is beneficial for instructors specializing in foreign languages. Refresher STEM courses fit for K-12 science teachers. Programming and 3D modeling teachers need to learn the latest technologies, and so on.
It’s also important for teachers to take a variety of courses. Doing so will also expose teachers to new networking possibilities. Traditional school courses, online seminars, and conferences all present their own sets of benefits that teachers must consider.
Teachers with limited time and budgets should still consider a variety of options to know which is best for their needs. Some organizations provide subsidies or other forms of financial aid for teachers who need help to afford their credits. Most schools sponsor programs for their instructors and get accredited agencies and local institutions to provide the training.
Education credits earned by a teacher in one state can be transferred to another depending on state laws and course descriptions. Licensing agencies will help teachers determine if their credits are good. Teachers must also scrutinize each course carefully to see if they apply to the level of schooling they are teaching.
Continuing Education and Professional Development
The two are virtually interchangeable most of the time. A few institutions distinguish between the two. Professional development for these places means credit courses that contribute to a teacher’s license renewal requirements. Non-credit courses are often referred to as continuing education programs.
Teachers seeking CPD need to be wary of where they enroll or who their trainers are. Excellent trainers do half the work of setting up what teachers need in professional development programs. Improving teaching skills will result in student success and secure employment for diligent teachers.