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The Teacher Tip

Create Your Own Professional Development

February 6, 2018

Adapted from Take Charge of Your Teaching Evaluation by Jennifer Ansbach. 

PD doesn’t have to come from an outside source. Here are a few ideas for how to design your own professional development:

  • Work with colleagues to explore an education issue that is important to you. You can explore big questions such as discipline or more specific topics, like how to best word questions. Looking at student work samples or instructional materials together can offer insight and creativity that will help you see your own practice in a new way and help you improve your instruction. Lesson study is a powerful tool for collaborating to improve student learning. 
  • Read through journals in your content area and then write an article of your own. Check the calls for manuscripts in the journals relevant to your content area and look for a topic you have an interest in or have been creating new ideas for. Research the topic and then craft an article that offers your own ideas and submit it. If that feels too bold, look into becoming a reviewer for the journal. It’s enlightening to read what others are doing, and most journals ask you to review only a few times a year at most.
  • Get involved with your professional association. Join your national content-area association or a local affiliate and volunteer your skills in an area you feel comfortable in. Many organizations have plenty of good ideas but not enough people to make them happen. Working alongside others in your content area, especially those in various stages of their careers, may help you find a mentor or allow you to mentor a newer teacher. 

To learn more about Take Charge of Your Teaching Evaluation and download a sample chapter, visit 

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