The educational landscape in the United States is changing quickly. In order for teachers and administrators to keep up with current trends, they must be aware of changing conditions in the classroom as well as developments in testing and instructional methods. Thomas Gaudreau, an experienced educator and curriculum developer from Minnesota, shines a light on new areas in staff development. 

Professional development enables teachers to bring stronger skills to the classroom according to Thomas Gaudreau. Keeping up with current trends in their subject areas gives students an updated view of the world. Teachers must also learn to perform new tasks such as adapting to new applications of technology in the classroom. Recently, studies have shown that staff development has a positive impact on student outcomes. 

Most Popular Areas for Staff Development

According to a 2017 report from the Institute for Education Sciences, 84 percent of classroom teachers were involved in staff development activities that enhanced the content of the subjects they taught. 67 percent of teachers were trained in the use of new technologies like tablets, computers, and smart boards. 56 percent were involved in reading instruction. 42 percent took classes in classroom management and discipline. 37 percent learned about teaching students with disabilities, while 26 percent were instructed on teaching students with English as a second language or with limited English proficiency. 

Emerging Trends in Professional Development

In an effort to keep up with students’ needs, teachers are being instructed in the area of career and technical education. Career and technical education focus on students who may not be interested in attending a traditional four-year college or university. It provides marketable job skills and enables students to work directly out of high school. Career education is also important in the lower grades, with students shown concrete paths to a prosperous adulthood. 

Paraprofessionals are also beginning to benefit from staff development. Many teachers rely on their services daily, but they are not necessarily educated in the subject matter being taught in the classroom. Educating paraprofessionals provides a better student experience and enables them to work as a team with the teacher. 

Inclusivity is another area making strides in staff development. Making sure that students with disabilities are included in the classroom to the full extent of their capability is not a new idea, but it has become more important in today’s school environment. 

Finally, teachers are being encouraged to develop administrative skills outside the classroom. Curriculum development, teacher support, mentorship, and instructional coaching are all areas where extra training is important. 

Standards-Based Learning

Standards-based education has become paramount in many school districts across the nation. Teachers and students alike have gone through transitions from traditional grading systems, and many teachers are still struggling to implement this concept in their classroom teaching. Parents must be taught to understand the new grading rubrics, and students need to be encouraged to adapt their working style to the new standards. Professional development is extremely helpful in this area, as teachers need in-person support to make such sweeping changes to their instruction. 

Importance of Staff Development according to Thomas Gaudreau

Thomas Gaudreau has examined these trends in staff development and identified new focus areas. His expertise in supporting staff development helps him understand changes in the field. He believes that every teacher has the right to timely and accurate instruction in professional development and that students will experience greater outcomes when their teachers receive supplemental education. When teachers are given the opportunity to better their skills, it benefits the entire school system, from the administration to the youngest student in the primary grades.

The educational landscape in the United States is changing quickly. In order for teachers and administrators to keep up with current trends, they must be aware of changing conditions in the classroom as well as developments in testing and instructional methods. Thomas Gaudreau, an experienced educator and curriculum developer from Minnesota, shines a light on new areas in staff development. 
Professional development enables teachers to bring stronger skills to the classroom according to Thomas Gaudreau. Keeping up with current trends in their subject areas gives students an updated view of the world. Teachers must also learn to perform new tasks such as adapting to new applications of technology in the classroom. Recently, studies have shown that staff development has a positive impact on student outcomes. 

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