by Bethany Bowman
Our members have repeatedly asked that we provide professional learning and development opportunities to them. For us, it is an opportunity to deliver top quality opportunities for all teachers, administrators and paraprofessionals, and provide greater collaboration with local school systems. Participation in our conferences, webinars and initiatives does not require membership. We believe it is part of our core business to provide professional learning and development for educators that will enhance professional competence and confidence, build leadership qualities, and lead to higher academic achievement for students in Tennessee.
Our association is working to connect the state's new teacher evaluation system to high-quality feedback and professional development opportunities. This year our specific focus will be on Common Core State Standards. There is a tremendous need to create and expand professional development for new and low-performing teachers and expand professional learning opportunities, especially in smaller school districts. Our strategy is to work with the state's educators in pursuit of these opportunities and focus on instructional quality and implementing a coherent system of support for all stakeholders.
An educator's professional growth does not stop once they leave college. Growing as a professional not only makes teaching more enjoyable, it also enhances student learning. Students and their world constantly change, and teachers are challenged to keep pace and to develop new strategies and techniques. It is essential for educators to be aware of and take advantage of professional development opportunities.
Effective leaders take a systems view of human performance. They embrace their responsibility to ensure high performance. Without a doubt, focused and sustained professional learning is an essential component of a comprehensive system of support to develop and retain new teachers. The professional learning and development our organization provides offers a tremendous "return on investment" for schools and districts serious about supporting all teachers in becoming more accomplished educators who are equipped to increase student learning.
For more information about Professional Development or to attend our annual statewide conference, LeaderU at the Cool Springs Marriott on Saturday June 22, 2013 simply visit our website at www.proedtn.org.
Bethany Bowman is the director of professional development for Professional Educators of Tennessee, a non-partisan teacher association headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee.