Teacher Professional Development and Student Achievement Gains The achievement of students results from the work of knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled teachers. Therefore, there is a need to improve the knowledge and skills of teachers to ensure that the achievement of students is possible. Investment in education must include allocation of funds and time for professional development of teachers in elementary education. There are many options in developing the skills and knowledge of teachers. The most appropriate approaches to professional development aim at gaining high student performance.
A teacher who is dedicated to professional development and wanting to improve their teaching, will make a stronger impact on students. I believe that I am in the Proficient level of performance according to the Framework for Professional Teaching Practices (Danielson, 1996). For Doman 1, planning and preparation, I believe that I demonstrate adequate skills. I work hard to make connections to my content knowledge with other subject areas through discussions with general education teachers for social studies and science curriculums (Danielson, 1996). As a special education teacher, I must have a full understanding of my students (Danielson, 1996).
Focus on both content knowledge and specific skills to carry the knowledge Effective professional development should be able to provide teachers with support for subject matter knowledge and opportunities to master specific skills to deliver the knowledge (Fennema et al., 1996; Garet, Porter, Desimone, Birman, & Yoon, 2001; Li & Protacio, 2010; Penuel et al., 2007; Timperley, Wilson, Barrar, & Fung, 2007). Such professional learning opportunities allow teachers to reflect, re-define, and re-create their teaching practice (Wilson & Berne, 1999), which leads to better learning achievement of their students. For example, Fennema et al. (1996) examined changes in teachers’ beliefs and instruction in teaching math while participating in a teacher development program. In this program, teachers learned the specific concepts about children’s process of mathematical thinking and were engaged in various ways of instruction based on the understanding of the concepts.
Through exploring multiple learning theories and reflecting on my own teaching beliefs, I have developed my own theory of learning. As I developed my theory, I wanted to consider what it takes to be a highly effective teacher. An effective teacher must have mastery of instructional strategies, classroom management, classroom curriculum design, and use assessments as feedback (Laureate Education, 2010a). By using a variety of instructional strategies, teacher’s can meet the learning styles of all the students in the classroom. Effective classroom management can lead to students feeling safe and more willing to take risks.
For instance, in the collaborative coaching experience, I learned to respect my colleague opinions and shared new ways on how to promote learning (Laureate Education, 2010b). Collaborative professional development helps teachers acquire new skills where they establish positive relationships with other educators. It is very critical for all schools to implement collaborative professional developments because teachers learn to respect each other’s ideas, work collaborative, and learn new skills that will definitely make a difference in student learning. Implementing collaborative professional development in schools is very important and beneficial for teachers because it affects student learning in many positive ways. One way is that teachers experience working collaborative with other educators and acquire new skills that they will model later for their students in the classroom.
A motivating classroom is perhaps defined as an environment where learning is facilitated by the impact of the teacher's efforts. Attention also has to be given to the need of the students through meaningfulness. Meaningful connections between teachers and their students is also a catalyst for a better learning atmosphere. Meaningful context and applied learning undoubtedly correlate with the lives of students (Walsh, 2003). In order to use creative engagement s... ... middle of paper ... ...1996) indicated that well-motivated language learners realize the progress they are making, hence they are motivated to achieve further effort and success.
Effective Teachers According to your reading, what are the characteristics of effective teachers? What qualities do effective teachers possess? In the book Introduction to Teaching: Becoming a Professional, Kauchak and Eggen (2014) defined effective teaching as, “instruction that maximizes learning by actively involving students in meaningful learning activities” (p. 511). To be an effective teacher one must care about and involve each and every individual student. An effective teacher not only succeeds at helping all students learn, but increases learning for all students as well.
I believe a classroom should be a sanctuary of learning in which the students know from the beginning what is expected of them and the teacher should discuss what is expected of her as a teacher. There needs to be an understanding amongst all involved with the children education. This understanding can lead to a fun filled adventurous classroom that encourages students to strive for the best. I believe when students and teachers are able to learn from each other, the learning environment can be successful. A successful classroom involves having an effective educator who believes they can make a difference in their students’ lives by believing in themselves as productive teachers.
The role of schools is student learning. A significant factor in whether students learn well is the ability and quality of the teachers. Quality is improved through continuous professional development. The framework most supportive of the learning of professionals is professional learning communities (PLC) (Hord, 2009). Forming PLC is a process of focusing on student achievement while empowering educators with the skill set to make a difference.
Goal-setting theory. In education teachers are tied to their student’s success within learning. This would indicate an instrumentality within the expectancy theory. The Equity theory relates to teachers in the same position comparing themselves to each other; thus, can relate to performance as an educator. The goal setting theory can highly motivate teachers, internalizing the “self-leadership” (Seyfarth, p82-89, 2008).