Educators always relay the message that there is a lesson to be had in everything and that you can never stop learning. That is true for everyone and, arguably, even more so for the educators, whether they be schoolteachers, coaches, or anyone else, who have a duty to be able to communicate with their audience.
No matter how good you are today, you can always be better tomorrow. Educators work with learners, striving to not only realise their potential but to exceed it. To be able to push the students in their class, they must push themselves to be the very best that they can be. Here, we will look at several staff development ideas for educators that focus on developing key areas such as communication, leadership and more.
Ask anyone involved in education and they will soon tell you just how invaluable experience is to better yourself, both professionally and personally. If you are a new educator who is just starting, you will no doubt have already spent plenty of time shadowing the sessions of highly experienced educators, noting their delivery and how they deal with certain aspects that arise in a lesson – such as questions, discipline and how they tailor their approach to the audience.
Whether you are teaching a class of young children or for higher education, you will soon learn that no two classes are the same. Your audience is different, either in terms of ability or values. This means that you need to find a way to connect and deliver in a manner that resonates with them and is easily understandable.
Attending workshops organised by your place of employment or elsewhere can do wonders for identifying key areas where development is needed. These can be peer-led sessions with a member of the group bringing forward a practice that they use and presenting it to the group. The exchanging of ideas is healthy for one’s development, helping to open your eyes to a different way of doing things. By refusing to sample the approach of others, this leaves little room for you to develop and evolve, which will ultimately hurt you in the long run.
Be prepared to share your own ideas and allow for your peers to offer constructive feedback that you can take on board to develop.
To succeed as an educator, you need to be able to think outside of the box. After all, if you are delivering a session to a group of individuals, all of whom have their different learning style, you need to be inventive with how you cover all bases. That means you cannot rely solely on a whiteboard, because kinaesthetic learners will suffer as a consequence, and neither can your lessons be purely practical as this will not help those that fall under the reading/writing category.
Here at Team Challenge Company, we offer a range of creative and collaborative events that can tap into your creative side, as well as working to develop your ability to work as part of a team, communicate and, where necessary, lead. Not all staff development programmes in higher education must be rigidly based on education, with various skills and qualities being transferable into the classroom.
Be willing to connect with other educators, both in and outside of your field. You can do so by networking at events and conferences, as well as online through any of the many social media platforms available. By doing this, you can discuss any session plans that you have, seek the counsel of your peers and ask for feedback.
Forming connections with other educators, no matter what stage of their career they are at, is fantastic for your professional development. Additionally, the connections that you form can stay with you, meaning that you can run by any new ideas that you may have with trusted colleagues before putting them into practice. Make sure, however, that you are prepared to give back to the community with your own feedback and advice where applicable, otherwise you will soon learn that a one-way relationship does not last very long at all.
Lastly, do not wait for your employer to book you onto a training course if you genuinely feel as though this is something that you could benefit from. If you have identified an area where you feel that you have room for development, then take it upon yourself to seek out the relevant training. Once you have done so, present the idea to your employer, outlining how this will benefit both you and them.
As well as offering a wide range of fantastic team building events, Team Challenge Company also can produce tailored events to suit your specific requirements. For more information on how we can work with you, please get in contact with us today.