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1,000 Educators Reveal What They Want Most in Their Next Professional Development Opportunity

1,000 Educators Reveal What They Want Most in Their Next Professional Development Opportunity

Note: The data from this poll was collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. We waffled on whether or not this information was still relevant given all of the changes that have taken place, but after discussing and looking over the data we believe that the results are still useful, and it is our hope that sharing this data will be helpful to you as you plan your upcoming professional development sessions.

Teachers are no strangers to learning – they’re constantly reading, researching, and learning more about how they can improve their teaching practice. Administrators are also not strangers to the world of professional development – they’re often tasked with creating informative sessions for their staff to improve a student’s learning experience, school culture, and more.

However, it’s not always easy to choose a topic or session that’s going to resonate with educators and not be a waste of their time, especially on a precious day off of school. So, how can an administrator know exactly what qualities an educator wants in a professional development session and what topics are going to resonate best? Have no fear – we’ve done a bit of the work for you by asking the amazing educators who read our blog what they really want to see in their next professional development opportunity.

We asked 1,000 educators to anonymously share their thoughts with us through three main questions:

  1. What type of PD works best for you? (multiple choice question)

  2. What characteristics make up a good PD session? (open-ended response)
  3. What topics would you most like to learn about in a PD session? (open-ended response)

Additionally, participants were also asked a few demographic questions such as: job title, years of teaching experience, and what grade levels they interact with, to provide more insight into who was responding.

Let’s take a look at what the eductors who responded had to say, along with some key takeaways.


Professional Development Poll Results

Key Takeaways

What type of professional development works best for educators?

We asked educators this question because we wanted to know what type of session works best. Do they prefer a lecture? Watching a video? A hands-on training session?

Takeaway: Even with asking this question before the COVID-19 pandemic, over 54% of educators preferred a non in person training session. Webinars, videos, and worksheets are a welcome addition to your PD playbook.

What characteristics make up a good professional development session?

Takeaway: This question was completely open-ended, and teachers were very clear on their response – they want something relevant, something they can take and use in their classrooms, and they want examples. Leave these out to your PD’s peril.

What topics would you most like to learn about in a professional development session?

Takeaway: Teachers want training on the tools they are using in their classroom, how to better manage their classrooms, and training in their area of specialization.

While these answers have provided some insight on what kind of professional development options educators are seeking, it's always a great idea to open up a line of communication and encourage feedback from your teachers to hear what they have to say.

Are you planning virtual summer school this year? Whether you’re looking to keep elementary students’ skills sharp, help high school students recover credits, or anything in between, here are a few questions to consider when rolling out virtual summer programming.

beth.holine's picture
Beth Holine

Beth Holine joined Edmentum in 2011 as a Marketing Specialist. In her role, she works to provide teachers and educators with innovative, useful resources. Beth has a B.S. in Psychology from the Iowa State University.