Importance of Professional Development in DCPS
The importance of Professional Development for educators
is widely known in educational circles as critical to the success
and mastery in the profession of education. The globalization
of commerce, diversity of education, shifts in the manufacturing
industry, the explosive integration of technology and subject
area knowledge demands that teachers acquire new knowledge
I have attended two (2) First Coast Scholars Professional
Development sessions at Jacksonville University and University
of North Florida. I encourage you to participate and learn from
seasoned educational peers.
The changes in educational reform, technology intelligence and
capability, legislative influences and the inclusion of diverse
students all affect teacher instruction. Teachers have to be self
directed learners striving to gain new insights,
improve their skills and broaden their perspectives.
Professional Development is more important today than at any
time in the past.
PD provides opportunities for professional growth that
engages teachers to share best practices; acquire and
share teaching strategies that help to engage students
in the growing diverse classrooms of our schools. Many
school districts are seeing the growth of diversity in
school districts not just in Florida, but throughout the
nation. PD is needed on a regular basis and importantly
relevant to teachers needs.
PD in the past was once thought only for secondary
educators, but primary (K-2) and intermediate (3-5)
educators benefit from the inclusiveness of new
educational Standards, Benchmarks, Strategies and
the interpretation of data that provides teachers
the tools and resources to teach at higher levels
of engagement and interaction.
From my 26 years of teaching I have seen inspired and
informed teachers as the most important school related
factor that influences student achievement and growth.
Teachers realize that to be successful educators they
must also be facilitators of learning, project managers
in hands on learning, content developers and sometimes
Professionals in other careers share opportunities to
learn through Professional Development, teachers should
have these opportunities to be involved and engaged with
their peers. Teachers should not only participate in
professional development there should be internships
and teacher-preparation programs.
These opportunities allow teachers the time to apply
and digest new learning in preparation to implement
in their classroom.
One of the most important components to PD is Mentoring
and Coaching from veteran teachers, subject matter
colleagues and observations from adequately trained
administrators that also participate in PD. It is
critical for teachers to have ongoing and regular
opportunities to learn from each other.
Ongoing professional development keeps teachers up to date on
new research on how children learn, emerging technology tools
for the classroom, analyzing data and exploring new curriculum resources.
The best professional development for educators is continuous,
experiential, collaborative, and connected to students, their culture and learning modalities. “Professional Development is
a continuous improvement process lasting from the time an
individual decides to enter education until retirement.”
Florida Department of Education – http://www.fldoe.org/workforce/pdf/ch8.pdf
Duval County Public Schools has introduced an effective
professional development program that creates a unique
learning opportunity: teachers can earn up to 60 in-service
points and gain valuable classroom strategies, best
practices and share with other educational professionals
what works in the classroom.
First Coast Scholars
The 2013 FCS seminars have been selected for this year.
Teachers are encouraged to participate in this awesome
and engaging experience that guarantees to allow teachers
to expand their minds, allow for peer collaboration and
new ways to engage students in the classroom.
First Coast Scholars Photos by William Jackson
View the First Coast Scholars video to learn more:
Teachers in Duval, St. Johns, Clay and Nassau have a
wonderful opportunity to engage in learning that creates
unique, fun and worthwhile educational experiences.
To meet with seminar leaders to hear about the seminars
here and scroll down to “Pre-registration and
For more information contact:
David F. DeRidder Director Outreach Programs
Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership
Email – DeridderD@schultzcenter.org