Posted by Christy Williams on February 2nd, 2016
Learning does not end simply because you have a degree and a career. Professional development is especially important for educators, as it encourages teachers by providing new teaching methods and access to resources. Surprisingly enough, the skills learned in professional development courses can carry over into your work, allowing you to teach your adult students about life outside the classroom.
Common Issues Discussed in Professional Development Courses
One of the biggest factors concerning adult education teachers is the classroom environment. Many adult education teachers simply don’t have their own space or even a consistent classroom. Some teachers struggle to secure adequate resources for their students simply because they are adult learners. Many students don’t have access to working computers, and many schools don’t allow adult students to take books home. In professional development courses, you may learn how to cope with or challenge issues like these.
Access to other staff members is another big concern for adult education teachers. You may have the same problem numerous other teachers do: isolation. It can be difficult to reach out to program directors because you are working different hours or in an alternative portion of the school. No matter the case, professional development training can help you focus your efforts on reaching those who have the power to assist you.
Methods of Professional Development
In the classroom, professional development takes shape in a number of different ways. Here are the most common methods teachers introduce professional development to the classroom:
- Lectures and seminars
- Case studies – You are placed in the position of making a decision or resolving a problem
- Consultation – You are asked to address a concern or resolve a problem in a group setting
- Mentoring – Provide examination into a common dilemma
Professional development is not unlike other types of education. Some of the training is even offered online, and much of it is interactive to provide for an interesting and effective learning experience. The information you learn during training can be used to teach your own students.
Types of Courses Available
Professional development courses are intended to allow you to focus your efforts better in the classroom. Some courses focus on emotional development, allowing you to develop your social and emotional skills. Applied problem solving, technology use in the classroom, and material creation are other common courses for adult education teachers.
While professional development may not solve all your problems, it can certainly help you focus your efforts. When you know how to gain access to valuable resources and you gain some new insight into your students, it is certainly worth your time.