Professional development encompasses all activities that teachers undertake to direct their own learning and to enhance their professional practice. Teacher Autonomy in professional development is both a right and a responsibility of the individual teacher.
It is the responsibility of the school division to provide mechanisms and resources to ensure both individual teachers and groups of teachers have equitable access to professional development.
You have a professional responsibility to keep on top of new developments in education and take part in ongoing professional development.
The Fab 5 Beginning Teachers’ Conference, to be held in Winnipeg and Brandon, is designed for teachers in their first five years of teaching. Plenary sessions are balanced with a selection of breakout workshops intended to build knowledge and strategies in the areas of classroom management, student engagement, team work, building parent partnerships and supporting diversity.
FAB 5 offers new teachers an opportunity to network with other beginning teachers and develop skills to support their day-to-day classroom practices. Registration is minimal – only $40.00! In addition, The Manitoba Teachers’ Society will provide some financial assistance for travel and accommodation for participants who are MTS members.
Contact your local association to find out more about how teachers might access funding for PD opportunities in their division.
Teachers are members of a professional organization that encourages collegiality, collaboration and trust. Within each school, these attributes are essential to the development of standards and priorities that guide professional activity and action.
Teachers possess a professional expertise that is marked by the interrelationship between two kinds of knowledge:
- Knowledge of a discipline (such as the acquisition of content in a particular discipline, and the set of skills that are associated with learning within that discipline)
- Pedagogical knowledge (tacit, implicit knowledge that helps teachers “reach” children, or helps them to know how to respond to a learning need).
An educator’s professional autonomy
• To exercise professional autonomy is to exercise professional judgment. To be able to reflect and act upon one’s judgement is an important source of strength in the public education system and key in meeting the diverse needs of our students.
• Professional development is most effective when it is chosen by educators to meet their needs and support educators in making professional decisions.
• Good teaching and development of good teaching practices do not happen serendipitously. Purposeful professional development over one’s career guides the acquisition of new skills and knowledge in an endeavour to improve as an educator and leader. It is also important to recognize that to exercise one’s professional autonomy does not necessarily mean that one is to learn in isolation. In fact, when educators engage in professional learning opportunities with their colleagues, there are opportunities to share, mentor and support each other.
• The professional development (PD) of Manitoba educators is regulated by legislation. Collective agreements, school division policies and The Manitoba Teachers’ Society’s Constitution, By-laws and Policies also regulate equitable access to PD opportunities and funding for Manitoba teachers.
50 ways to develop professionally
- Read an article on the mbteach.org website
- Apply for a Reflective Professional Practice Grant
- Read a pamphlet
- Attend a workshop
- Talk with colleagues
- Read an article
- Join a Special Area Group of Educators (SAGE)
- Watch a video/DVD
- Conduct an action research project
- Read a book/e-book
- Watch a television program
- Attend a grade level meeting
- Acquire a new software program
- Participate in a podcast/webinar
- Read a journal
- Serve as a co-operating teacher for a university student teacher/teacher candidate
- Join a professional organization
- Attend a Manitoba Teachers’ Society workshop/conference
- Develop a professional newsletter
- Observe a teacher in action
- Join a study group
- Plan a staff/association workshop.
- Volunteer to serve on your local association
- Develop a curriculum resource
- Visit a teacher resource center
- Serve as a mentor
- Attend a summer institute of your choice
- Write a grant application for a new initiative
- Serve on a planning committee for a divisional PD day
- Write an article for a journal
- Partner with other community organizations to develop new programs
- Develop a professional growth plan/ portfolio
- Volunteer to sit on a committee with The Manitoba Teachers’ Society
- Become a peer coach
- Enrol in a university course
- Implement a new instructional/ assessment strategy
- Pilot a new program/series
- Participate as a community organization board member
- Develop new technology skills
- Join a formal network within or outside your school division
- Contribute to a Special Area Group of Educators (SAGE)
- Volunteer for a Department of Education committee
- Join the Manitoba Teachers’ Society Teacher Led Learning Teams
- Search the internet for information on an issue
- Participate on a school-based committee
- Discuss educational resources with a friend
- Enrol in a distance education program
- Volunteer for a local community organization
- Develop a pamphlet on an educational issue
- Write a book