Professional Development Goal Setting for Teachers

by Shelley Frost; Updated March 28, 2018

Just like your students never stop learning, you keep adding new strategies to your teaching toolbox. Setting professional development goals for teachers guides you as you take your continuing education classes and pursue your own learning opportunities. Choose goals that are specific and that have a measurable outcome with a timeline attached. Not sure where to focus your professional development efforts? Start with key areas for teacher professional goals. Consider your preferred learning style when choosing your method for achieving your professional development goals.

Classroom Management

Effective classroom management helps everything run smoothly. Students are better able to learn in a well-managed classroom. Whether you're fresh out of college or have been in the field for years, it never hurts to brush up on your classroom management. Use your kids as a case study to identify your weaknesses in this area.

Examples:

I will collaborate with other teachers in my building to learn new classroom management strategies.

I will do a self-study with books on classroom management strategy.

I will test out new classroom management strategies to determine which are most effective.

 

Content Areas

Keeping up with trends in the content areas you teach helps you improve your instruction. By taking classes or attending conferences related to content areas like math, reading or science, you gain more personal knowledge on the topics and teaching strategies for the areas. If you're an elementary teacher, you might focus on subject areas that you feel least comfortable teaching. Taking coursework in those areas gives you more knowledge and confidence when you teach them.

Examples:

I will attend a workshop on teaching math to elementary students.

I will research projects and teaching methods ideal for high school social studies.

I will seek out new teaching materials for science topics.

I will collaborate with the school reading specialist to improve my classroom reading instruction.

Career Path

The teaching field offers many career paths beyond the classroom. You may want to remain in the classroom until you retire. Or you may decide to pursue other avenues. Some potential options include becoming a lead teacher, instruction specialist, curriculum specialist, teacher mentor, principal or superintendent. You may decide you want to switch to a different educational role, such as a reading teacher or school counselor. Start setting goals now to make those career advancements even if you can't go back to school full time. If you already have the degree and experience necessary, you might set a goal to start applying for those positions.

Examples:

I will shadow the school counselor to decide if I want to follow that career path.

I will apply to colleges to earn my master's degree, so I can advance to a leadership role.

I will take the prerequisites for completing the degree program I need for advancement.

I will finish my master's degree program to qualify for the leadership role I want.

I will apply for leadership positions in my area of expertise.

 


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