A female teacher smiles and instructs a diverse group of teen students.

The Importance of Continuing Education for Teachers

Why is it Important to Continue Your Education as a Teacher?

In the effort to attain instructional proficiency, it is important for teachers to become what they often impress upon their students: to become lifelong learners. The lifelong learner journey of a teacher:

  • Strengthens instructional proficiency
  • Builds better student-to-teacher, and teacher-to-teacher learning communities
  • Develops collaborative, and productive home-school connections

The aforementioned reasons outlining the importance of teachers continuing their education, offer both benefits, and a blueprint of components necessary to create an inclusive school community. Continuing education, collaboration, and effective communication amongst all educational stakeholders make for well-balanced classrooms towards student achievement and overall school community success.

Continuing Education with Graduate Programs

Applying to a continuing education or graduate program provides educators with an opportunity to enhance their skill sets. A certification or graduate degree program provides up to date, researched-based knowledge and content for educators seeking to advance and expand their career opportunities.

My Experience Continuing My Education

Currently working on my third graduate degree, I have benefitted greatly upon completion of each degree program. Not only have I been afforded opportunities to serve in wonderful roles as a result of continuing my education, but more importantly, I have gained a greater affinity and appreciation of what it means to be a true servant leader. I have often said that to be a good leader, one must have a good heart condition.

That heart condition acts as one’s moral compass, one’s guiding force in decisions we make as teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators. As educators we have been honored to serve society’s greatest commodity, our children, our future. It is my heart condition that drives my passion daily to become a teacher leader that empowers children and supports colleagues on their quest to become change agents who wish to create a better tomorrow, a better future.

Why I Chose Concordia University Chicago to Continue My Education

I value teaching the way a gardener values their garden. With care and concern a gardener nurtures buds so that they may blossom into beautiful flowers. Concordia University-Chicago provides me with a learning experience, enhancing my skill sets as an educator, in a way similar to the gardener, that allows me to nurture the academic futures of all children.

Continued Education in Addition to Graduate Programs

Educators may choose from many avenues and opportunities in their efforts towards continued education on top of graduate education.

Attend In-Person Conferences or Virtual Webinars

Attending in-person conferences and participating in virtual webinars provides educators with opportunities to receive researched-based information while discovering new, innovative best practices and strategies to enhance instructional proficiency.

In-School Professional Development Opportunities

There are many professional development opportunities for educators at their school and within their district. Taking advantage of such opportunities may come in the form of utilizing professional development content to support lesson planning, curriculum selection, assessment development, and instructional practice. Becoming active participants in professional development sessions may be as beneficial as being an observer.

Opportunities to provide professional development to fellow staff members, requires researching up-to-date information, engagement, and collaboration with colleagues in the effort to present material that sparks interest, and potentially acts as a motivating factor for colleagues to incorporate newly received information into professional practice.

Professional Educational Organizations and Policy Decision Making Agencies

To remain informed about legislative decisions and most recent policies and procedures that will impact the state of educational affairs, educators will want to remain diligent in their study of various platforms that disseminate such information.

Seek Out Articles, Journals, and Up-To Date Research

In the effort to become better educational practitioners, educators must be intentional in their quest to seek continued knowledge by way of reading and studying varied researched-based articles, journals, and related material. The methods mentioned above of independent study place educators in the position to advance their instructional proficiency, as they work tirelessly to help their students attain academic achievement and social-emotional wellbeing.

Benefits of Continuing Education

As part of exploring the variety of ways in which educators can continue their education, it is equally important to look at the benefits of seeking out said continued education. Teachers making a conscious decision to continue their education provide deeper understanding of the practical elements of being an effective teacher. Seeking out inclusive curriculum, implementing best instructional practices, and developing appropriate, non-biased, authentic student assessments is conducted with greater intent.

Continued education lends itself to greater understanding of the importance of deeper teacher-to-teacher and teacher-to-administrator relationships. Skill sets such as lesson and unit planning, classroom management, and the ability to develop richer community connections are strengthened.

On a personal level, educators who make the decision to continue their education, may discover that their level of confidence is enhanced. Enhanced confidence may cause one to have greater trust in their ability to make more affirmative decisions as it relates to their instructional practice and in their ability to develop meaningful professional communal relationships that benefit the school community as a whole.

Personal Growth

An educator’s decision to continue her or his education in pursuit of certification, or a graduate degree, may cause them to develop a greater sense of ownership, flexibility, and freedom, which enhances their level of comfort and confidence demonstrated through exemplar implementation, and proficient instructional practices as a classroom teacher.

Teachers must extend themselves grace as they grow in their craft, understanding that through this process, they will grow in their ability to make better decisions that will expand their knowledge base, and enhance their craft. They will eventually find themselves at a greater level of proficiency not only with instruction, but also in their classroom management abilities. Mastering classroom management not only demonstrates how well one can manage the behavior of students, additionally, it demonstrates how well one conducts instruction. Mastering selection of inclusive curricula, possessing proficient instructional skill sets and practices, make for a well-balanced classroom.

Lastly, as educators grow as a result of continuing their education, they will develop the ability to cultivate positive, productive relationships that are beneficial to both the internal and external school communities. Educators making the decision to continue their education will appreciate the personal and professional growth they will see over time in the many roles they will play in developing society’s most precious gift, children.

Interested in continuing your education? Check out our master’s degree programs and doctoral degree programs and take your next step today!