Good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees. Said J. Willard Marriott, an American entrepreneur. To study hard and land a great job might be a success in itself, but the constant progress one makes to keep oneself updated and perform better at that job, is equally important. This is what Professional development aims at.
Professional development is a continuous process of training and education that an individual undergoes that will upgrade their skill set concerning their career. It’s like Ms. Vinita is currently a good teacher, and when she opts for a professional development course, it will help her become a better teacher than she is now.
Professional development courses help an individual stay up to date on all developments related to their career/job. They can be in the form of seminars, workshops, instructor-led training, or well-structured courses with tutor-tutee training sessions. It could also be an informal approach where the instructor observes and guides you in your workspace or a self-directed approach where you opt for an online course or structured reading on how to improve yourself takes place. The length of the program and the subject matter covered in them can vary as they can be uniquely designed depending on the sector of professionals they are catering to. For, eg. A suitable course for Ms. Vinita could be based on how to manage group activities in a classroom or innovative teaching methods. (Check).
Professional development courses help in increasing efficiency, confidence, credibility, earning potential, and one’s ability to lead and reach higher goals in their career. It helps expand your knowledge base, stay updated on the new possibilities in your domain of work, and upgrades your job skill-set. It helps one maintain their growth and job concerning their career.
A process of continuous professional development helps one answer questions related to what is their current position, where do want to be in their career, and what is that needs to be done to reach that position.
When it comes to a school/education-based professional, a continuous development program helps in:
Building professional confidence which in turn impacts the reputation of the school.
Constant updating of skills which makes it easier for the individual to adapt to changes.
Support career goals and related development.
Reflection on one’s learning process
Helping one find their strengths and weaknesses.
Increase in Productivity and efficiency of work.
When each teacher/professor works on developing themselves, there is an overall increase in the output and results, and the quality of the educational institution improves.
And so, to summarise: In simple terms, Professional development aims at making the individual better at their job!