What is professional development for teachers? 10 Ways for Highly Effective PD new for 2022

Teachers often struggle to find time and money for professional development.

Teachers work hard, but they don’t get paid enough or receive the respect they deserve from society. They spend hours of their own time researching new methods and materials in order to help their students learn more effectively.

It is difficult to plan and carry out creative opportunities for teachers to further their education. We will discuss the important features and strategies for professional development throughout an educator’s career.

What is teacher professional development?

Professional learning (abbreviated as PD) is an essential component of all educators’ work throughout their careers. It’s one way for teachers to improve their skills and professional judgment, as a result, improve student outcomes.

Learning can occur in both formal and informal settings. Professional development encompasses formal classes, seminars, conferences, courses, retreats, and workshops. Taking online courses or conducting independent research are examples of informal opportunities for teacher professional development.

Any type of continuing education effort for educators is referred to as teacher professional development. 

What is teacher professional development?
What is teacher professional development?

Why is teacher professional development important?

Students Have Better Learning Outcomes

Professional development is a type of education for teachers that aims to improve or enhance their teaching or classroom environment. 

Teachers who are thoughtful and target professional development opportunities will have more effective methods to improve student outcomes.

Professional development not only enables teachers to learn new teaching styles, techniques, and tips, and that allows them to teach students more effectively.

They have the ability to communicate knowledge in a way that students can easily understand and to instill a sense of curiosity in students. Effective professional development assists teachers in shaping their students’ lifelong learning.

Why is teacher professional development important?
Why is teacher professional development important?

It encourages the success of teachers

The purpose of teacher professional development is to focus on improving teaching and learning by helping teachers build knowledge, skills, and dispositions. 

It is important, therefore, for teachers to have a clear understanding of what constitutes effective professional development. It requires an environment that promotes professional learning, engagement, reflection, and collaboration.

Professional development can assist both new and experienced teachers in developing the skills required to feel confident in the classroom. Teachers can attend professional development classes such as formal classes, courses, seminars, and workshops. Or independent learning or interacting with educators from other disciplines in order to improve their own teaching competencies.

Teachers Gain Knowledge and Industry Insight

In the 21st century, with the great development of science and technology, ever-changing knowledge, education also requires a change in educational methods. 

Professional development is essential for both teachers and students, who must be lifelong learners. Teachers must spend their entire careers learning new skills in response to the challenges they face

Many teachers have cited a lack of time as the reason for not pursuing professional development opportunities. When teachers have both the time and support to pursue professional development, they often cite a lack of knowledge as one of their biggest challenges. This problem has been especially prevalent in the area of technology integration.

Teachers can be discouraged by a lack of professional development resources. One study found that one-third of teachers leave the profession within three years, and half leave within five years.

How to make teacher professional development effective and engaging

Teacher professional development, or just “professional development”, is an important factor in ensuring that teachers are equipped with the tools and information they need to succeed.

Unfortunately, it is rare for a teacher to have the opportunity to attend a professional development seminar in-person at their school, or even an online professional development course. Even if they do attend one of these events, it’s unlikely that the information is retained by the time Monday rolls around.

Many articles have been written on the subject of how to make professional development more effective. This article lists 10 different ways you can make any professional development more effective.

The 10 most popular ways to make teacher professional development effective are:

  1. Let them know why it’s important 
  2. Create a safe environment for learning 
  3. Encourage them to discuss the subject with others 
  4. Give them time to process the information 
  5. Give them a way to apply the information to the real world 
  6. Give them a way to measure their progress 
  7. Provide additional resources on the subject of professional development 
  8. Provide lunch and snacks
  9. Encourage them to ask questions 
  10. Ask for feedback on how to improve the professional development

Don’t forget that it’s also important to be a good role model! If you can inspire, motivate and guide students, it’s a success.

How to make teacher professional development effective and engaging
How to make teacher professional development effective and engaging


What is the purpose of professional development?

The purpose of teacher professional development is to help teachers continue improving the quality and effectiveness of their teaching practice. This can be done through a variety of strategies, such as professional learning communities, reflective practice, and action research. Teachers have a lot of freedom when it comes to TP—it can be individualized, self-directed, and organized in-house. There are many different paths that lead to successful TP for teachers—it all depends on the teacher, the school environment, and what works for them. When TP is most effective, teachers are actively involved in designing their own professional development, practicing new skills, and reflecting on their TP process.

How many professional development hours are required for teachers?

The number of professional development hours that teachers must complete varies by state. In most states, licenses must be renewed every five years. In addition, most states require an average of six graduate credits or 120–180 professional development hours every five years. Please contact your state’s department/board of education or public instruction for more information. 

What are examples of professional development for teachers?

There are many ways to provide teachers with professional development opportunities. For example, teachers may participate in workshops or classes on new teaching strategies, learn about lesson plans designed by experts, or receive assistance with technology. Other examples of professional development for teachers include workshops on new teaching strategies and assistance with technology. Teachers learn about professional development opportunities, both in-class workshops and outside of school, through their schools or districts.


Generally speaking, teacher professional development (TP) is the process by which teachers continuously improve their practice and increase student achievement. TP aims to provide concrete evidence of effectiveness for educators, improve the existing education system, and shape educational policy. For teachers to make TP most effective and engaging, they should be actively involved in the process. TP that incorporates teachers into planning, carrying out, and evaluating activities can be most beneficial for teachers and students alike.

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