Who Is Teaching Our Teachers?

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – When schools are challenged with insufficient funds, outdated infrastructure and a wide gap in achievement levels between low-income and high-income families, the weight of responsibility falls heavily on educators. But who is educating our teachers?
“Most professionals receive ongoing training to keep their skills and knowledge fresh and applicable in a rapidly changing world. Continued professional development is even more important for teachers — the men and women preparing today’s students for college, career, and citizenship,” explains Gene Carter, CEO of ASCD, an organization providing professional development to educators across the country and around the world.
Thanks to new teaching methods, materials, curricula and technology, education is evolving more quickly than ever before. Many teachers need support to continually update and improve their teaching. In the fast-paced digital age, teachers’ skill sets must continue to grow for their students to see continued success.
For example, according to Carter, the introduction of new common education standards is driving change in classrooms across the country. ASCD offers conferences, workshops, Webinars, online training and even on-site capacity building to instill new skills and better strategies that help educators work with these new standards adopted by states nationwide.
According to experts, ongoing professional development is critical to empowering educators to support the success of each learner.
“The key [to school improvement] is exemplary teaching along with stellar professional development that challenges, supports and inspires teachers to refine practices to improve student learning,” notes Lynda Wood, associate superintendent for Southfield Public Schools in Michigan, about her experience with ASCD.
As Wood observes, highly qualified teachers are a must, but it’s ongoing professional development that boosts student learning to a higher level of achievement and growth.
“Five years ago, we had extremely low student achievement levels, and we’ve essentially doubled the number of students who are meeting state standards. That speaks directly to the quality of professional development that’s gone on,” says Principal Patricia Reynolds from Queens after ASCD faculty implemented a long-term program at her school in New York.
Learn more about professional development at www.ascd.org.

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