Every state has specific requirements for teachers' continued professional development, with courses often being needed for them to maintain licensure. Professional development courses can be completed through colleges, universities and organizations that focus on education. Many teacher courses are available online and may be self-paced. Some examples of these include programs preparing them to work in special education, obtain principal licensure or teach at another grade level such as middle school.
A few of the more popular professional development courses for teachers are classroom management, special education and English as a second language courses. Other courses focus on assessment, technology, bullying and instructional design. There are also courses geared toward those teaching in a subject area, such as reading, math, history and science.
Here are some common topics explored in professional development courses for teachers:
- Character education
- Stress management
- Educational technology
- Bullying prevention
Teacher Professional Development Courses
English as a Second Language Course
In this professional development course, teachers, school psychologists, counselors and other school personnel analyze the current educational practices and strategies implemented to teach English as a second language. In addition, the course explores various educational theories, school organizations, parent involvement, trends and the history of teaching English to students of other languages.
Teachers taking this course learn to evaluate the correlation between the skills needed in today's workforce and the skills taught in today's schools. The course also explores strategies for problem solving, teamwork and creative thinking. This course can often be taken simultaneously with other professional development courses.
Differentiated Instruction Course
Teaching multiple students who learn in very different ways is the fundamental concept of a differentiated instruction course. Teachers take this course to learn the variety of techniques available to meet the different learning styles of students. Specific class activities are also explored in this course.
Assessing Students Learning Course
In this professional development course, teachers will learn how to incorporate the latest research and practices into instruction and assessment. Teachers examine the various techniques used to reinforce the development of students' abilities to demonstrate knowledge, skill and comprehension. Evaluating the use of standardized tests, grading policies and common classroom assessments are also explored in this course.
Classroom Management Course
Teachers examine effective classroom management techniques and procedures in this course. Topics include the best practices of a smoothly run classroom, how to work with various behavioral complaints and how to enhance student achievement. Techniques to reduce teacher stress and maximize student motivation and cooperation are also covered.