Today, as I finished my first professional development for the upcoming school year, I realized the importance of professional development, more than ever, that makes me a more effective teacher. We’ve all been in a PD meeting that, is …. well, boring. At WCHS, we completed our very first EdCamp and it was eye-opening. To see educators engaged, and not getting the traditional “sit-and-get” and focused on student-centered learning, was refreshing.
Professional development should be thought-provoking. It should cause an educator to sit back and evaluate what they are doing in the classroom. Are they focused on the student learning what they need or is it the same thing continuous without any desired effect? Einstein famously said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If, as an educator, you are having students complete similar tasks and its ineffective the, then why bother?! PD challenges you to become better. It should make you want to dig deeper. Strive for perfection in your classroom, not only for better test scores, but for increasing the whole student.
Occasionally, I am asked by students, family members, etc. reasons why I started teaching, and the answer is simple. I enjoy helping people. My goal is to give every student every opportunity that I didn’t get as a child. I teach my students to strive for perfection. Why don’t we do the same for ourselves in our teaching? Professional development allows for that to happen.
“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.”