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Professional Development Ideas and Strategies for Teachers Who Really Care About the Well-being of Their Students


Almost as much as teaching, the job of an educator is learning. Staying curious about the world doesn't stop at growing older – instead, the ability to acquire new knowledge and skills increases the more we have in our back pockets. Unfortunately, as the daily hurdles and pressures take up the hours in and out of school, there's only a little time to enhance one's personal development as an educational professional.

Fortunately, SEL and well-being are all about small things and gestures regarding the overall professional development as a teacher. You can introduce them to your day-to-day little by little so that they become habits, and soon you won't even notice you're spreading healthy and engaging messages around you!

If you want to improve your SEL and well-being skills, start easy. Choose one or two things to bring to your skill set. There are countless internet resources for teacher professional development ideas (and a few in this text!). Choose areas that you see fit for yourself and your class – ones that you'd like to develop and benefit you. Always remember the WHY and the WHAT: why you practice this skill and what good it brings. Implementing it will be a lot easier when you acknowledge its importance.

Team up with your colleagues. Your fellow educators have wondered the same things as you. They might even have come up with great ideas! When you put your heads together, you'll both learn from each other and invent new strategies to try.

Ask for feedback. Your community has excellent knowledge – ask your school leaders and colleagues to give feedback on your work! This way, you'll see yourself from angles you otherwise wouldn't. Don't be afraid – asking for feedback shows you're taking your job seriously. Your colleagues' constructive and honest thoughts will be a valuable reward when you show openness to learning; it also sets an example of openness to others. It helps others to further their knowledge and support others in the community. Team spirit and work climate best improve with enthusiasm. Remember to give meaningful feedback correspondingly.

If you are in a hurry and don't want to explore the endless resources of the internet, we have an option for you. Find our one-hour personal development course on Microsoft Learn to acquaint yourself with and deepen your knowledge in social-emotional learning and how to develop it amongst your students.

If you aren't sure what to do next regarding professional development as a teacher, you should create a free School Day account. Start to measure your students' well-being, get tailored intervention strategies, and access CASEL-aligned lesson plans to endorse your class's social and emotional learning. They offer a simple way of understanding better how well-being affects learning and provide concrete tips to enforce it.

However, remember that as the summer vacations are approaching, make sure to pause and relax also. No one can succeed without resting - and professional development is all about success as a teacher! ❤️

Henriikka Heinonen

Guest Writer
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