21st Century Professional Development for Teachers

21st Century Professional Development for Teachers

Skill Enhancement is an important part of teaching and learning.

We have heard it for ages that Learning never stops. Same is applicable for teachers as well. The moment a teacher stops being a student, the teaching process becomes ineffective. A teacher has to learn along. There is a need to separate the teachers from their wait for a comprehensive plan of Professional Development from the employers. This posts is a call for them to team-up and explore the enormous amount of PD Resources available online and around them.

Each time a lesson is taught, a formula is given or an experiment is performed, Teacher has to live it afresh. There is a reward in the life of a teacher that he gets younger with each completed batch. Students keep him young by joining the collaborative and project based learning models. This team of Students and Teachers empowers each other professionally at no-cost.

There have been various thoughts and philosophies given about teaching aptitude. Here, we are talking about the presence of Attitude and Aptitude among aspiring teachers and those who are already in the teaching occupation.

Teachers can recall those memories of their classrooms when they might have dozed off, not because the topics were boring or they were tired. It happened due to the absence of 'Presentation Skills' in the teacher. The question isn’t about the knowledge, which is of course the assured possession with a teacher. But the competence to deliver that ‘knowledge’ comes under question. The pre-job and post-job training should be integral. In most of the countries, school teachers do undergo a pre-requisite alike Teachers’ Training Course. During the job, either the teachers themselves surrender to the lethargy or the employer organisation fails to impart any meaningful addition to the skills and competence to teach.

This has been a constant challenge for all teachers that the 'educational organisations' have neglected the 'Professional Development' aspect. Teachers are hired, not selected, and then they are thrown in the bewilderment of excessive workload. We have few teachers and more students causing poor learning. Even in premier institutions like IITs, there has been a lack of a sufficient number of faculty members. The lack of teachers or the higher number of students is an issue but not the cause or excuse to side-line or even delay the Professional Development of Teachers. We cannot assume that a teacher, in this age of information and technology, isn’t trained in the use of ever-growing Educational Technology Resources.

The lack of EdTech Activism is a serious flaw which keeps an educator on back foot in the present day classroom. Possessing a Smartphone but lagging far-behind the pupils in the class in knowing the smartest ways of learning through the modern devices, is a hole in the teacher’s boat, not the learners.

In India, the education sector ends up as a support staff provider in public campaigns or elections. With less time left for self-development, most of the 'potential' educators are 'repeating' their experience and have not been able to add any innovation to their classroom delivery. If teachers are not professionally developed, then learning outcomes can never be commendable.

Experts insist that teachers are not ignorable and their Training & Development will not even cost much. Thanks to the modern day smart education and presence of advanced training modules, in the form of MOOCs as well, we have enough to impart. From school to higher education, the need to train the teacher is apparent and urgent. Apart from the subject areas, there are many other aspects of teachers' incompetence. They lack multiple things at one time and there is no remedy for that. To sustain oneself in the teaching profession, one has to add that extra edge of being trained and skilled persistently.

Where do the teachers lack in PD:

  • Communication Skills
  • Educational Technology Evangelism
  • Workplace Communication
  • Industry/Job Domain Exposure
  • Decision Making & Management Skills
  • Public Relations, Motivation, Empathy and Patience

Some PD aspects come with age and experience in teaching. However, one who misses the EdTech and Communication Skills part, shall have deceitful challenges on way to be a competent teacher.

There used to be saying that Technology will not replace teacher, but Teachers Using Technology will replace the teachers who don’t. The picture is much cosmic now. EdTech is not a new thing anymore. It is a part of life with the advent of online courses, teaching and learning apps, OERs and unending tech-driven resources.

About the Author
Author: Parveen Kumar SharmaWebsite: http://eklavyaparv.com/
Parveen Sharma is an Educator working in the domain of Communication Skills for the last 13 years. He has been involved in the teaching and training of K-12 and HigherEd students as well as teachers. He is an expert as well as a user of various innovative tools and resources. Moodle, MOOCs, LMS, Online Assessment Tools, Podcasts, Graphics in Edu, Blogging, OER are some of his expert areas. He is a Blogger, Podcaster, Poet, Public Speaker and EdTech Evangelist who has been integrating technology into daily classroom learning. He blogs on EklavyaParv.com and conducts training sessions for teachers on the subject of Classroom Makeover, EduSoMedia and Communication Skills.

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