The most important factor for a positive professional development experience is:'s Teacher Poll of the Week
The most important factor for a positive professional development experience is:
Gaining content knowledge to support my teaching.
Reflecting on my teaching practice to determine how to improve.
Learning about teaching methods.
Exchanging ideas and information with colleagues.

View Results

Half of the teachers who took this poll reported that exchanging ideas and information with colleagues is the most important factor for a positive professional development experience. Another poll on this website stated that teachers use the Internet as a way of finding hints, tips and timesaving ideas, but interaction with colleagues still remains an important method of professional development.

Meeting face to face and exchanging information allows for a better understanding between parties. Getting the same information online leaves the recipient making their own interpretations of ambiguous material. Only by being able to ask questions and review information is it possible to ensure understanding. Some teaching concepts may be confusing online, but make perfect sense when explained face to face.

Learning from colleagues in different schools can give a different perspective on a subject. Discussing particulars with colleagues in the same school can lead to a better understanding of individual students and their needs. There are benefits whichever way the exchange takes place.

Reflecting on teaching practices and gaining content knowledge were a very close second and third in this poll and also play a vital role in professional development. Whenever we allow teachers to come together for mutual improvement, students and society win. Professional development opportunities not only deal with details, they invigorate teachers. Learning new techniques and ideas gives anyone a blast of energy and excitement. Teachers come to class ready to try their newly acquired knowledge. Students are the lucky recipients of this renewed energy.

Periodic professional development days are a necessary part of the educational system. Teachers need the chance to step back and assess what they are doing and to learn some new tips and tricks from their colleagues. This is the only way to keep our teachers current and relevant in today's ever changing world.