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Professional Development Teachers Actually Want to Attend

January 8, 2021 by Janessa Fletcher

We all have to attend professional development, usually at least once a month. What if we could wave a magic wand and create professional development that teachers actually want to attend?! We asked our colleagues from the Fearless Firsties group what kinds of PD they look forward to and here were their responses. You would definitely find me participating in those that Lessen the Load, Not Increase it! 😊

Professional Development on Specific Topics

“Dyslexia” ~ Kristine R.

“How to teach math online!” ~ Jeni D.

“Reading groups/guided reading from start to finish!!!!!!! We were NEVER thoroughly taught how to carry them out effectively in my college courses— especially how to carry them out with centers or whatever else going on.” ~ Abby L.

“How to do centers or group guided reading in a pandemic.” ~ Tanner P.

“Ways to make DL fun and educational.” ~ Tara A.

“How to run a super productive math workshop.” ~ Katie M.

“Teaching phonics totally fascinates me! I could go to unlimited PDs on it!” ~ Jenny S.

“Preparing for retirement with 20 years of teaching experience.” ~ Shelley S.

“STEM- not just STEM for the sake of STEM, but taking our normal curriculum and creating STEM lessons with those.” ~ Jessica S.

Lessen the Load, Not Increase

“Anything that is going to make my teaching life easier and more productive and doesn’t add to what is already on my plate.” ~ Nancy W.

“The kind that lets me work in my room.” ~ Amy C.

“Make and Take” ~ Amy J.

“The kind where I can have 3 hours to grade all my papers, update grade book, prep my room/activities for the next week/weeks.” ~ Felicia L.

“Professional development that teachers want to attend are those that give us the information and then allows us to plan and prep for it in our lessons. Get work done while learning something new!” ~ Emily G.

“STEM or project-based learning and how to actually incorporate it into our curriculum.” ~ Sara R.

“Anything that allows me to be hands-on and doing something that will be useful in my classroom.” ~ Michelle B.


“At this point, whoever said teachers need TLC not PD is my vote.” ~ Lori M.


Professional Development to Actually Help my Students

“We just had a really good PD on being trauma-sensitive.” ~ Lacy B.

“Anything regarding child psychology/behavior or trauma-informed approaches.” ~ Katie D.

“Trauma-informed teaching practices.” ~Renee E.

“Any type of helpful strategies, instead of the science behind it. We got that part. Stop reiterating WHY and show me HOW.” ~ Margarita M.

“Our educational services came out for one year. It was to understand what our families go through. They gave us each a card and we had to go with our families. The family got a book with how much we made, WIC cards, etc. There were also different envelopes to open at certain times that would say if someone got sick, pregnant, late school fees, etc. At the end of the month, it was eye opening to make decisions for the family, not pay most bills, not be able to go to school, have childcare, etc.

Everyone was up and moving and having to come back and make decisions as a family. It was really intense and eye-opening to see what our families have to go through.” ~ Megan R.

How to Succeed in My Building/Classroom

“Overcoming poor leadership” ~ Sara R.

“Strategies for significant behavior in the classroom for students not on IEPs (even if they could be…) I’ve done a zillion PBIS professional developments, and they don’t always help. 😬” ~ Katie M. 

“How to make more money with the experience and degree you have, while still getting to be with the kids you love, but having less stress.” ~ Alo T.

“One with a monetary giveaway!” ~ Millanee R.

Why I Don’t Like to Attend Professional Development

“It’s not usually the PD …it’s the timing of the Pd. Never useful right before school starts. Last place my mind is.” ~ Evelyn C.

“Something taught using best practices. I’ve been to too many PDs lately where the presenter has no problem putting down the attendees. When I hear and see that, you may have the greatest idea ever, but I can’t take you seriously because of how you treat others.” ~ Marty A.

“I think the key to a good PD is choice. So often on PD days, I’m assigned to what PD I have to go to and can’t choose what interests me.” ~ Courtney R.

“PD that actually takes place with a class of kids. I’m tired of being told what to do but never actually seeing it put into action. I have a difficult time learning from being told or reading it. I learn by seeing.” ~ Stacey G.

Fingers crossed that one day, the administration creates Professional Development that teachers actually want to attend. Until then, we will keep going and doing our best for our students the ways we know how. If you have some awesome professional development ideas, please share them in the comments below.

Written by: Janessa Fletcher

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