Why Teachers Need A Career Development Plan


As teachers, we prepare for our careers through a four-year college or university program of study that includes periods of active classroom participation as student teachers. After graduation and certification, we are employed as classroom teachers.

When we begin teaching, however, we become increasingly aware of how much we still have to learn in order to be the best possible teachers for our students and their learning needs. State and local school systems across the country understand and meet this need by requiring teachers to participate in continued learning programs, or professional development. It is so important that it is a requirement for our continued employment. Why?

Continuing Your Professional Development

All research in this area reports that student learning increases when teachers engage in effective professional development focused on the teaching skills they need to meet learners’ needs. There are always areas of instructional challenges which can be addressed with high-quality professional development courses:

Classroom management
Instruction methods
Knowledge of state and local curriculum
Use of technology
Interaction with parents
Advancement courses to become an administrator or instructional supervisor

Additionally, the field of education is always changing with:

• adoption of new curriculums
• new instructional methods
• changes in laws (federal Title programs)
• new school procedures
• students with challenging learning needs

Teachers must actually be life-long learners ourselves to keep abreast of the best practices in our profession.

Developing a Career Development Plan

A career development plan is a tool anyone can use to set goals for future progress in a chosen field of employment. In order to strengthen your teaching practices effectively you need to develop a personal career development plan. You can accomplish this yourself or with the assistance of your principal (some school requires this, in fact). Begin by imagining the desired result you want to achieve or the goal(s) you want to reach. Next list the skills you need to learn to achieve those results or the certifications you need to complete to reach the goal.

Break your goals into smaller, readily achievable steps. List classes, you need to take or other means of learning the skills you need. Your plan may be for one year, five years or more with subsections for individual steps to your goals. It may be formal or informal and open to flexibility and change. The purpose of your plan is to keep you focused on your skills and abilities, which keeps your self-esteem high. Competence builds confidence. A timeline helps you focus on your goals.

Means of Professional Development

Whether you attend conferences, seminars and/or workshops; subscribe to and read professional journals; take additional college or university courses; or engage in peer learning, observations and mentoring teams, ongoing professional development makes you the most effective instructor you can be for your students and their learning needs. More and more states are requiring teachers to take on a more active role in managing and developing their own professional development plan.

We support teachers with Graduate Credits through our partnership with Ashland University which can be applied towards your State License Renewal, Salary Advancement or Continuing Education needs.

Teach & Kids Learn, Inc. (TKL) is a dynamic and innovative professional development provider. Since 2009, our products and services have focused on combining job-embedded professional development practices within our online, blended, and face-to-face offerings. Our online courses are built on an integrated foundation of research, content, technology and customer service.

Our online course materials are presented to participants through a variety of engaging learning methods, such as classroom video segments, readings, case studies, downloadable instructional templates, research summaries of findings, and classroom-ready instructional resources. New online learning opportunities are always being added to our catalog.

All participants are assigned experienced course facilitator, who is an expert in their field and will provide timely feedback throughout the course period. All courses are designed to include instructional job-embedded activities, which support an engaging professional learning community where educators can share knowledge, ideas, strategies, and experiences that will improve the teaching and be learning outcomes for students.