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The Journey of Teacher Professional Development

Several models exist that explain the different stages of teacher professional development. One that is particularly popular is Huberman’s career cycle model.

This article will explore how using a journey metaphor can help us better understand the areas of growth for teachers. The most prominent issues are dealing with student behaviour and collaborating with colleagues.

Ongoing Training

The education world is constantly changing, with new technologies and techniques bringing fresh approaches to teaching. To keep up, educators must attend professional development sessions to learn about these innovations and gain new skills.

This type of teacher training can involve workshops or courses aimed at specific skills or topics, or can include mentoring programs in which a teacher provides guidance and support to a less experienced colleague. In the latter case, it is a highly effective form of professional development for teachers, with one study showing that new and first-year teachers are more likely to stay in the classroom longer and perform better when they have a mentor.

Ongoing training is important because it signals to teachers that the school community values their growth and learning. And it also provides added value to teachers on a regular basis by helping them to build their subject knowledge and expand their teaching methods, creating an ongoing cycle of learning.


Workshops are one of the most important aspects of teacher professional development. They allow educators to learn and share new classroom management techniques, which can lead to greater student engagement. In addition, workshops are a great way for teachers to collaborate with other educators and strengthen their professional networks.

Educators are exposed to a variety of different topics through PD workshops, ranging from subject-specific training to pedagogical approaches. This can help them to better understand the unique needs of their students and tailor their classroom instruction accordingly.

Workshops are often mandatory for educators as part of their school district’s PD requirements or to receive salary boosts in certain states. However, many teachers also participate in PD for personal growth and career advancement. This enables them to stay current on educational technology, school district guidelines and curriculum standards. In addition, it improves the quality of their class instruction, resulting in improved student achievement. These positive outcomes are what ultimately make PD worthwhile for teaching professionals on a regular basis.


The field of education is constantly evolving, with new research studies and best practices emerging regularly. Attending conferences helps educators stay abreast of these advancements and implement them into their classrooms to create more engaging learning environments for their students.

National conferences often bring widely recognized expert speakers and offer a wider range of presentations and breakout sessions. These can provide a unique perspective into widespread issues and concerns that teachers face across the country and give attendees ideas that they can take back to their district.

Aside from the educational benefits, conferences can also provide a more personal experience for teaching professionals. For example, some schools organize peer coaching programs where educators observe each other's classrooms and collaborate on ways to improve teaching methods. This can be an effective alternative to PD that may seem overly impersonal and disconnected from real-world teaching dynamics. These programs are also known to increase teacher job satisfaction, a crucial factor in educator retention.


Mentoring is one of the most critical aspects of teacher professional development. The right mentor can make all the difference in how a new teacher performs in their classroom and how they eventually progress through the teaching profession.

Teachers enter the classroom with varying degrees of skills in instructional design and delivery, and it is vital that mentoring programs provide quality instructional support for novices. This support can take many forms, from discussions about teaching strategies to collaborative planning and reflections on student performance.

Good mentors also demonstrate their commitment to the profession through their willingness to learn from colleagues, including beginning teachers. They are transparent about their search for better answers to perplexing questions and share their own experiences and expertise with others.

This type of mentoring supports the development of teaching professionals on a regular basis, helping them to develop their own professional learning networks within their school and district. It can also help them to understand how they might serve in leadership roles on their campus and district as a result of their mentoring experience.

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