Sustained Professional Development For Virtual Teachers

Daryl Chesley
February 3, 2023

Proximity Learning is an online learning partner that provides real-time, virtual, synchronous instruction for schools that cannot find teachers to fill their vacancies. With our qualified teachers, students receive the education they deserve. 

As we all know, sustaining Professional Development (PD) for teachers is essential to school success. But what's the best way to provide that PD for teachers providing virtual instruction?

How is virtual teacher PD different from traditional training?

Proximity Learning PD is more effective than traditional training methods at increasing teacher knowledge and skills because it is tailored to the needs of our teachers and delivered in a way that is conducive to their style. In addition, it is more efficient and cost-effective than other PD options.

For these reasons, Proximity Learning is becoming an increasingly popular option for teachers, because we provide sustained PD.

Why is professional development important for virtual teachers?

Professional development for virtual teachers is an essential part of improving performance in the field. Teaching virtually requires a different skill set from traditional classroom instruction. You cannot just take what you’ve learned in a brick-and-mortar experience and apply it to live virtual instruction, you must expand your knowledge. 

Content and support specific to the unique challenges associated with virtual teaching are necessary to provide educators with tangible strategies to enhance their instructional practices. Additionally, professional development can focus on enabling teachers to make use of the technological tools available, so they can bring more engagement and interactivity into their lessons. 

Ultimately, attending appropriate professional development workshops not only increases a virtual teacher’s knowledge base but also their level of expertise, which is key in creating an effective online learning environment for students.

How to deliver the right professional development at the right time

“Just in time” support is critical in today’s quickly changing virtual teaching space. Teachers are faced with a myriad of challenges every day - and they need a nimble and supportive network that can adapt to their needs. One great way to do this is to develop a robust library of modules in an easy-to-use learning management system, where teachers can go to find what they need fast. 

Identifying, creating, and deploying the right professional development opportunities requires some planning and research. 

  1. Start by making a list of specific topics your teachers would like to learn more about or refine. 
  2. Organizing these topics in a learning management system will help keep your resources organized and accessible. 
  3. Researching potential course selections with other professionals within your organization can also help steer you toward more appropriate PD options. 

Making the most of professional development opportunities

Professional development opportunities are a great way to stay ahead in the workplace. Curriculum and content can be shared easily among colleagues utilizing digital tools to reach everyone. Taking advantage of training, attending virtual conferences, joining professional associations, or meeting with colleagues during office hours can give insight into new advances and ideas applicable to both work and personal lives. 

Digital tools put exciting resources right at one’s fingertips that can open up opportunities for thought-provoking conversations and guidance on how best to maximize professional growth and success. Taking notice of these opportunities is an essential part of self-growth.

The benefits of professional development for teachers

Professional development for teachers is an essential part of career growth and knowledge expansion. It provides a platform for educators to stay up-to-date with the latest teaching strategies and skill sets while becoming familiar with new curriculums or enhancing the ones they are already using. 

On top of that, it facilitates a community of support and collaboration amongst other professionals in their field, often providing access to valuable insights into their peers' experiences. Professional development also gives teachers a unique opportunity to network and continue learning from each other as they grow professionally, as well as advance their understanding of educational practices.

Professional development for teachers is so important because it provides educators with the opportunity to continuously grow and improve their craft. With the right training opportunities, teachers can hone their skills, learn new techniques, and develop fresh perspectives that will benefit both them and their students. 

How to find the best virtual teacher professional development

When seeking out professional development opportunities, it’s important to find ones that are relevant to your needs and goals as a teacher. And once you’ve found the right PD opportunities, be sure to make the most of them by being an active participant and following up with what you’ve learned in your own classroom. 

The benefits of professional development for teachers are numerous, so don’t miss out on this chance to take your career to the next level. Join Proximity Learning as we provide world-class support for teachers to address equity in education for students across the country.

Click here to apply to teach with us.

Read more from our innovations series here.

about the author
Daryl Chesley

Dr. Daryl Chesley serves as the Director of Innovation at Proximity Learning. His areas of oversight include Curriculum Development & Implementation, Teacher Effectiveness, Professional Development, Organizational Innovations, Asynchronous Instruction, Institutional Funding and Proximity Learning’s Instructional Metaverse Development.

Prior to joining Proximity Learning, he held many leadership roles in public education and non-profit Healthcare education: including teacher, coach, High School Principal, Director and Assistant Superintendent of Instruction / Chief Academic Officer. He served in the US Navy. He attended Villanova University for undergraduate and earned his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from The George Washington University. Daryl currently serves on the Board of Directors for Maine ASCD.

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