Teachers know that learning is a lifelong endeavor. Especially in the field of education, there is always something new and exciting in the emerging research about brain development, pedagogical techniques, and the evolving needs of our students in a changing world. Continuing education is a requirement for teachers but also yields important personal and professional benefits. Whether you want to advance your career, find new ways to tackle classroom challenges, or become a more effective educator, professional development platforms can help you reach those goals. This post discusses six things to look for in a professional development platform for teachers.
The best online learning platforms contain relevant content from reliable sources. Look for professional learning resources that are based on research and backed by evidence. Give priority to content generated by practicing educators instead of industry “experts” who may not have spent much time teaching in a classroom. While you may benefit from general online professional development, your limited time may be better utilized with a professional development platform created especially for teachers.
Schools and districts taking a one-size-fits-all approach to teacher professional development is a common complaint of teachers across the country. Your professional learning needs can vary greatly depending on what subject(s) and grade you teach, the size of your school, the demographics of your school and community, where you are in your career, and your strengths and interests. Look for a platform with a wide variety of materials that allows you to personalize your development journey according to your needs.
Networking and collaboration are the chief benefits of professional development. Teachers can be each other’s strongest sources of support and insight. A communal area gives educators the opportunity to share their experiences, brainstorm ideas, and collaborate with other professionals in the industry. Look for a professional development platform that provides opportunities for community and connection, both in the form of online posting and live streaming.
There’s no question that teachers nationwide suffer from burnout. The passion for teaching and genuine concern for students that make education a rewarding career can also make it difficult to “unplug” at the end of the day. On top of teaching workloads, teachers carry many administrative responsibilities and plenty of emotional labor. Needless to say, it can be challenging to make time to invest in yourself. Your professional development should enhance your life, not create more stress. Look for a professional development platform that allows you to learn in short bursts and fits into your schedule with the flexibility to do the professional learning in your own time and pace.
A professional development platform should regularly add content to achieve and maintain relevance in the ever-changing world of education. While some topics are evergreen, your professional learning resources should include material that reflects the current state of the classroom, which means that material is continually added.
Of course, investing in yourself shouldn’t cost a fortune. It’s important to consider cost when choosing a professional development platform. With a paid platform, you get much more than free online resources. But you still want to consider the value of what you’re getting for your investment.
Professional development helps teachers to reconnect with their love of teaching and their reason for choosing this profession in the first place. Choosing the right professional development platform is the first step toward building a PD plan and watching your career grow.
In addition to hundreds of videos across several content areas, Avanti provides implementation guides and rubrics, so you can track your progress and set goals for yourself. It provides a secure online space for you to share your reflections, collaborate, ask and answer questions, and connect with other teachers.
With a searchable library of videos that are all five minutes long or less, you don’t have to invest significant time, and the resources are mobile-friendly, so you can do your professional learning no matter where you are.
Choose from an entire library of videos and join live-streaming sessions. For just $98, Avanti subscribers get a full year’s membership and access to everything Avanti has to offer. The more you use Avanti, the more your teacher toolkit will grow. There’s no limit to what you can learn–—for less money than most streaming services. Get started today!