Professional Development for teachers – Do we need it? by Sandra Luna

All professions require ongoing training. However, in the real school world we are not always able to invest in professional development. We teach classes with too many students for too many hours, and we spend far too long marking and preparing material outside school. Sometimes we just lack the energy! Or the money…

In recent years, teacher development has been moving beyond the usual couple of workshops attended throughout the academic year, and it is becoming a  robust system of continuing education. We no longer worry about content knowledge only, though we sure need to brush it up every now and then, and have started to take a better look into things such as quality teaching, diverse learning needs, student learning environments and collaboration. We have, also, realized that computers and other technology are now a part of our daily lives. There are reports to write and tools that make it easier. There is Moodle and the IH Campus platforms which allow us to continue the lesson outside the classroom. The tutorials we can send to our students encourage learner independence. But mostly, professional development allows us to share experiences, to help our colleagues (new teachers and senior teachers) with our ideas.

A school is made of teachers, students and administrative staff. It could not exist without these three elements. And in my opinion, a good teacher is the most important school related factor influencing student achievement. We all want good students, we want them to dream high, to feel they can conquer the world so please remember this quote by Henry Ford “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”