Since March 2020, the pandemic has evoked an environment of uncertainty in schools in a way no one could have ever imagined. Parents had to become teachers and teachers were asked to become virtual instructors immediately.
Teachers have adapted to the new technological demands by digitizing and providing content online. Today’s extraordinary circumstances have put forth new challenges for educators to continue to build their online and hybrid teaching skills.
That is where professional development comes into play. Professional development during these unprecedented times include learning presentations, hosting video conferences, managing submitted assignments, giving online feedback, modifying lessons, and keeping parents in the loop.
Professional development for educators can be an effective solution, helping them plan for the future.
Professional development for teachers during the pandemic is a major priority to build their online and hybrid teaching skills. Virtual conferences and webinars are some of the professional development activities that help educators meet the demands of their evolving job descriptions. Teaching remotely during a pandemic has led to new responsibilities demanding teachers to navigate new technologies virtually overnight to obtain a requisite number of professional development points.
This not-so-familiar way of teaching made some educators feel like they were asked to opt for a brand new job within 24 hours’ notice. According to a recent study, Educators for Excellence-Los Angeles K-12, teachers have reported a lack of cartier professional support for teaching during the pandemic.
Here are some types of professional development that may help educators meet the rising demands:
From virtual conferences to online feedback, educators have adapted to the distance learning. However, some of them had to learn while on the job due to lack of training. Technology is still more challenging for some dealing with the most vulnerable students. Ongoing Technology Training introduces educators to more efficient tools and pursue certification badges.
Address Student Mental Health
Students’ mental health is affected the most throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. A trained school staff can better support trauma healing for reengaging students in the classroom.
That may be a very effective approach to directly address stress in the classroom that requires educators to acquire additional skills. This could be an emotional relief and an increased sense of trust in students towards teachers and the school staff.
Equity and racism are very complex and sensitive topics. Professional development resources in race, equity and anti-bias training can help educators successfully moderate discussions about it. This also encourages educators to reflect their own identities and biases, and provide effective tools for addressing such topics.
A few ways in which professional development is expected to evolve post-COVID:
Flexible professional development
With the focus, now on remote teaching have let educators take out some time to refresh their skills and knowledge.
Support is key to retention
Working together to build, curate or adapt resources, design lesson plans will make educators feel more comfortable and stay resilient at their positions with the support of administration.
Everyone’s more comfortable online
Confidence in teaching online seems to have grown and remote learning is more enjoyable and fun for students.
A tech-enabled way expedites the feedback loop between the administrators and educators doing observations.
General tips for teachers:
- Create a work routine
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Maintain professional and social connection
- Invest in your development
- Be kind to yourself
- Focus on what is going well
- Reach out for support
- Teach with purpose
- Try journaling
- Help others in need
- Practice gratitude
Here is a link to FREE courses: https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/covid/Free-Online-Professional-Development-Resources.pdf
With the schoolparency software teachers don’t have to look for resources anywhere else and the entire school management can be held from one place. This platform eases the professional development process to much extent.