Why Is Teacher Professional Development Important?

Student learning

Good teachers are better at teaching students effectively. When teachers have access to continuous learning opportunities and professional development resources, they are better equipped to become good teachers — especially if their students have learning needs or are performing below or above grade level.

Student achievement should be the goal of any teacher professional development activities.

The most effective professional development engages teams of teachers to focus on the needs of their students. They learn and problem solve together to ensure all students achieve success.”

Success of new teachers

Studies show a third of teachers leave the profession within three years, and half of teachers leave within five years.

While there are several explanations for this statistic, there is no substitute for hands-on experience when it comes to effective classroom teaching. Teachers spend their whole careers developing new skills in response to the challenges they encounter, but new teachers have not had a chance to build their own resources.

Professional development can help new and experienced teachers develop the skills they need to feel confident in the classroom. Effective professional development helps teachers shape career-long learning.

Growth mindset

Thoughtful, targeted teacher professional development opportunities boost student outcomes and promote a growth mindset.

Teacher professional development encourages teachers to be active participants in their own learning, and ensures that students and teachers alike are eager to learn. By providing learning and support for your teachers, you communicate that the school community values the work they do and wants them to grow.

How to make teacher professional development effective and engaging

There are lots of challenges to running an effective teacher professional development session: time, money, engagement, effectiveness, and more. While the challenges may be daunting, they should not stop us from creating opportunities for your teachers to deepen their understanding.