For students to excel, educators must thrive. What’s the key ingredient in the recipe for happy, exceptionally talented staff? Quality professional development. With the right support for your team, your program will build itself because your educators will have the skills they need to shine from day one.

A RAND Corporation study found that programs powered by BellXcel boost teacher performance throughout the year. Ninety-nine percent of teachers nationally participate in professional development during the summer. If you want your professional development options to stand head and shoulders above the rest, follow these three keys to exceptional professional development:

1. Make training consistent and relevant.

Practice makes perfect in life and in teaching. To offer the most value, training should be consistent, offering ongoing opportunities for professional development. Ensure consistency by: 

  • Incorporating professional development into workplace norms. Feedback, mentorship, and similar opportunities for growth and support can help polish your team’s natural shine. 
  • Establishing clear policies. Your staff members want to do a great job, but they need to know what you expect from them to live up to your expectations. Set clear policies, and give immediate updates when they shift. 
  • Offering regular, scheduled check-ins. Educators want feedback integrated into professional development, but too often, they don’t get it. Make it easy and accessible with scheduled check-ins and performance reviews. Feedback must be clear, specific, and actionable. Give your team examples of what’s working and what’s not. 
  • Modeling what you hope they see. You are the first step in the best direction. Always aim to set the prime example in all interactions - with staff, students, parents, etc. Your strongest team members are fonts of knowledge who will model your exemplary skills.
  • Scheduling paid in-service and training days. Make training part of the regular schedule, and pay your staff for it! This will help stress the importance of keeping current with the latest trends, encouraging a positive outlook and increasing attendance.

Some hallmarks of relevant training include: 

  • It teaches instructors how to build upon the opportunities and challenges they regularly encounter in your program. 
  • It incorporates feedback from your staff about what they want to master. 
  • It is engaging and culturally competent. 
  • It highlights important aspects of your program, including strategies for family engagement, benchmarks for program quality, behavior management approaches, social emotional learning goals, and the core components of your curriculum. 

2. Make it convenient and self-paced.

The most effective educators may also be the busiest. They have families, volunteer commitments, continuing education seminars to attend, and may be pursuing additional education. Staff members are more likely to participate if they can complete on their own time. Give your team the gift of control over their own schedules by incorporating self-paced professional development to supplement your scheduled in-service training. 

Professional development is integral to a successful career and program. Expand access to everyone with flexible options. 

3. Offer tangible proof of accomplishments.

We all have something we’re great at. Maybe you’re a self-taught gardener, or your best teacher is an accomplished seamstress. Without proof of this knowledge, though, it can be difficult to be taken seriously no matter how good you are. This is also true for educator professional development. 

Professional development is an employee benefit that can help your staff grow their self confidence and advance their careers. Help them make the most of your professional development offerings by ensuring they can prove their mastery of the concepts you teach. 

Level up your offerings with downloadable certificates and awards that staff can share on LinkedIn or personal websites. Consider promoting learning opportunities in weekly meetings and implementing rewards for accomplishing specific professional development goals. 

Make waves with your professional development offerings.

Programs powered by BellXcel can ensure staff members are getting the consistent training they need to feel supported and successful with:

  • Staff training kits to lead your own professional learning experiences, with a slide deck, agenda, and complete facilitation script on a variety of onboarding topics
  • Self-paced professional development modules
  • Downloadable certificates and tracked learning progress
  • Curated resources including tool kits, templates, checklists, and more on a variety of topics such as management and operations, program design, culture and climate, instructional support, and family engagement

Make professional development easy, effective, and fun. Learn how we can help you by requesting a demo!