The idea of online professional development has been lingering in the world of education for quite some time, and yet a lot of teachers seem to avoid it in my country.
What is the reason behind that? Read on for some advice and links to current online PD opportunities.
I need to start this post by being honest – I am not pleased with the overall quality of professional development in my country and the educational system in general. This is probably the most important reason why I decided to search for online professional development opportunities.
I started with my professional development when I enrolled in master studies. I completed a whole additional module with 7 courses connected to English teaching methodology, which made me the only preschool teacher in Serbia who can teach English in elementary schools as well. I did all that because I felt that there is so much more to learn – the official university program was somehow not enough for me.
Everyone is different, and every teacher has to come up with a PD plan that fits their schedule and preferences. You can use the tools on the British Council to determine your areas of improvement, or you can use the Cambridge Framework for Teacher Development – they will both help you understand what your next steps should be.
For example, my professional development plan consists of:
- Attending conferences as a participant (live and online);
- Attending webinars as a participant;
- Keeping up with current research;
- Running my blog with academic articles, opinion articles, and lesson materials as a form of teaching portfolio;
- Volunteering in the educational sector offline and online – I am currently an online session facilitator in Granny Cloud. I also organize eco workshops in a local high school while cooperating with an ecological NGO.
- Conducting research;
- Attending conferences as a presenter and workshop facilitator;
- Being a part of teachers groups on Facebook and discussing daily matters;
- Reading, reading, reading and
- Reflecting, reflecting, reflecting.
Maya Angelou once said: ”I am not a writer who teaches, I am a teacher who writes.” This same idea gives me the energy to write, and this probably impacts my practice the most.
Read more about the practical current list of free PD online opportunities:
What is your opinion of online professional development?
Have you had positive or negative experiences with it? How do you motivate your self to develop professionally? Write in the comments. I would love to hear your opinion!