20+ Professional Development Activities and Ideas for Teachers in 2024

Published On: May 5th, 2024·By ·

In any profession, it is important to continue growing and pushing yourself to be better in your occupation. It is important for teachers to work on professional teacher development activities throughout the year so that they are better for their students and continue to be marketable for job opportunities. These activities can span over a variety of topics, from re-engaging students and discussing relevant topics, to growing a teacher's skill set. Read on for 20+ professional development activities and ideas for teachers in 2024!

professional development ideas.

1. Develop a detailed online teaching portfolio 

In order to develop a detailed online teaching portfolio, teachers should document their work experience and different projects they accomplished throughout their careers. It should include a resume, as well as, other creative elements. This could include various lesson plans, activities, and more that you implemented in a classroom. Remember, to make it interesting and easy to navigate, as potential employers will likely be visiting the site. 

2. Share diverse teacher experiences 

Not every teacher is the same, so showcase something that sets you apart. Be sure to share with others your diverse teacher experiences that highlight your well-rounded teaching career. Not only is this a great opportunity for you to share what has shaped you as a teacher, but it also offers others the stage to voice their own experiences. This will help you build your teaching community and collaborate with those around you.

3. Form a book club – in person or via zoom 

Reading isn't just for students, it can be for teachers too! Forming a book club, either in person or via Zoom, is a great way to connect with colleagues and stimulate your mind. It's important as a teacher to be challenging yourself intellectually and continuously pushing yourself outside of the classroom.

4. Social-emotional learning

Not only is social-emotional learning something important to teach in the classroom, but it is also important for teachers to learn more about these skill sets. Being able to show empathy and support toward others is a great start to becoming a role model. Implementing these practices into your life will only help the students that you teach. 

5. Self-care and mental health for educators

Teaching can be a very personal and strenuous job. While it can be fun working with generations younger than you, it can be difficult and emotional at times. It is important to check in with yourself and prioritize self-care and mental health for educators. 

6. Mental health topics for students 

As a teacher, you will be working with the youth. It is important to raise awareness among your students and in your community about mental health topics for students. Not only will it help to foster a safe space for students, but it will allow them to not feel alone if they are going through something on their own. 

7. Have dedicated courses on equity and anti-racism in the classroom

Not only is it important for your own professional development to dedicate time to learning about equity and anti-racism, but it is also important for you to bring up these hard topics in the classroom. Having dedicated courses on equity and anti-racism in the classroom for students to read through will help expose them to some of the injustices of the world. Being a resource to discuss these topics will be a huge help to the students in your classroom.

8. Discussion on how to relate to parents during hard times

A large part of professional teacher development happens outside of the classroom. Being able to relate back to the community that you teach in, especially the parents of the children that you teach, can be very important. Take time to check in with parents when you see them and think about how you can relate to them during hard times, such as during COVID or the poor economy. Showing that you too are human will only improve those relationships. 

9. Work life balance for teachers' discussion

Having a work-life balance for teachers' discussion allows for there to be open dialogue around balance in the workplace. Some people have a harder time than others separating their personal and professional lives. For example, it may be an easy task to grade papers at home, but it should not take away from personal time and cause unnecessary stress. 

10. Developing online assets and tools for parents and students 

Being able to have students bring their education home is another great way to excel in their education. Try developing online assets and tools for parents and students who belong in your classroom. Not only will it help to show parents a peek inside the class, but it will also be a great point of reference for your portfolio. 

11. Enable student accountability

In order to enable student accountability, a teacher must start at the beginning of the year and enforce it throughout the year. Making students accountable for their actions will teach them how much gravity lies in the choices they make. This will also help them as they grow older and become adults needing to make more difficult decisions and life choices. 

12. Ask “how can we enable students with technology”

Much of the world is leaning heavily into technology, including utilizing technology in the classroom. Next time you are going through a lesson plan, ask yourself “how can we enable students with technology”. Technology allows students to advance their education and collaborate with one another like never before. Utilizing tools like Google classroom allows teachers to manage and measure the performance of their students. 

13. Focusing on disengaged students by understanding the why

Not all students are the same, and some students learn differently than others. Some may be focused, while others may get easily distracted. Focusing on disengaged students by understanding the “why” will help you get to the root cause. Host office hours or talk one-on-one with disengaged students and see how you can offer them support to help their education. 

14. Concentrate on special needs students

Oftentimes, it can be hard for special needs students to get the attention they deserve in the classroom. Do your best to go out of your way and concentrate on special needs students. This will help them feel supported and could result in them performing at a much higher level than if they were not given this attention. 

15. Inform new information on trauma-based teaching strategies

There are a variety of trauma-informed teaching strategies that can be helpful to a teacher when interacting with students. Be sure to inform others of new information on trauma-based teaching strategies so they know what to look out for. These strategies revolve around being prepared, promoting relationship building and consistency, and focusing on the positive. 

16. Time management success for teachers

Similarly to work-life balance, time management for teachers can be tricky. Discuss time management success for teachers with colleagues and share different tactics on how to better manage time while balancing a packed schedule. It is imperative to do this so that you do not get burnt out in the classroom.

17. Classroom management ideas and discussion 

Having an open classroom management ideas and discussion panel is a great way to better yourself professionally. You will be able to connect with fellow teachers while learning new strategies for managing the classroom. Collaborating is a great way to forge new connections and improve your teaching style. 

18. Introduce professionals who can assist with Instructional coaching techniques 

What better way to learn about how to help students succeed than from professionals? Introduce professionals who can assist with instructional coaching techniques. This will help the school and classroom environment improve, and it will be focused on positively impacting student growth. 

19. Leaning into educational agencies for additional ideas 

If you are wanting to improve your teaching but are not sure where to start, try leaning on education agencies for additional ideas. Educational agencies are meant to provide support to local school districts. Learn more about what educational agencies can do for you by speaking with your school and district. 

20. Interactive roleplay

Interactive roleplay is an excellent way for teachers to gain experience from students' perspectives. The exercises create greater empathy in educators and provide a greater understanding of the challenges their students face and how certain policies, classroom environments, and teaching styles impact students. 

Roleplaying can be done in various ways, such as teachers having to give lessons to teachers, acting out scripted scenarios, or using online simulation games where teachers play the role of the students. As teachers take part, it makes them reflect on their skills, strategies, and tools and see where they need to adapt and grow. 

21. Wellness activities for teachers

Wellness activities for educators shouldn't be limited to Teacher Appreciation Week. Teachers perform better when schools invest in their mental and physical health throughout the school year. Consider enriching and restorative experiences such as art therapy, counseling, or subscriptions to meditative apps. 

Tips for leading a successful professional development course 

If you are interested in helping other teachers with professional teacher development activities, try leading a professional development course! Collaborating with other teachers and discussing these topics with one another will be very beneficial. Below are some tips for leading a successful professional development course and how you can make development ideas more effective. 

tips for successful professional development.

Be clear with the idea and activity  

When you are leading a course, pick a variety of activities that you will be presenting to the group. Be clear with the idea and the activity that you will be offering. For example, if you are focusing on enabling students with technology, leave room for discussion and showcase using technology in your activity. That way, participants can see firsthand what you are talking about. 

Focus on the specific grades/students

Because not all students are the same, the professional development topic that you are discussing may not apply to every student. Be sure to focus on the specific grades and students that would be a good target of discussion. For example, talking about equality and anti-racism may be more suitable for older children, rather than those that are much younger and may not be able to grasp those concepts yet.  

Focus on the specific schools 

Just like how not all students are the same, not all schools are the same. As you think about what you want to bring to the development course, focus on the specific schools that would pertain to the audience. For example, do not talk about something that would only be relevant to an audience that is not attending the course. Be mindful and try to make it as relevant and relatable as possible. 

Be consistent 

Throughout your course, it's important to be consistent. Many of the professional teacher development activities are backed by a certain opinion. For example, do not promote work-life balance and then later talk about how you need to overwork yourself. Stay consistent in what you are talking about in order to avoid confusion. 

Give digital access to all assets and tools 

Lastly, it is important to give digital access to all assets and tools used during the course. Having discussions is a great way to spread knowledge, however, it can be hard to retain a lot of the information. Be sure to pass out any presentations or resources that were discussed throughout the course so that individuals have what they need to reference course material in the future.

Why Professional Development Matters?

Professional development for educators matters beyond meeting certification requirements. Teachers reap numerous personal benefits by enhancing their knowledge and increasing their skills, including: 

  • Networking opportunities: Teachers meet new people at many professional development events like workshops, webinars, and conferences. Through new connections, educators are exposed to new strategies, solutions, and career-enhancing events and openings.
  • Creativity skills: Being exposed to new ideas, approaches, tools, and techniques expands possibilities in the classroom and beyond. These experiences spark the brain, inspiring teachers to develop unique solutions, activities, and strategies. 
  • Keeping up with trends: Research and discovery is continuously evolving, impacting how we teach children. From the latest tech to new research into children's development and psychology, staying up to date with trends keeps lessons fresh, impactful, and relevant. 
  • Credibility: Many professional development opportunities provide certificates, badges, or degrees. These provide proof that a teacher has advanced skills and knowledge that can benefit the classroom and beyond.  
  • Confidence: All educators have areas where they feel stronger than others. However, teachers can increase their confidence in their weaker areas through professional development. Greater confidence enhances leadership in the classroom, the school district, and the community.
  • Career advancement: Teachers enhance their CVs and opportunities by expanding their knowledge and skills. The more teachers invest in themselves, the more they can give to their students and schools. 

SimpleK2 has years of experience empowering educators through flexible personal development opportunities. There are online courses, on-demand and live training, and teacher workshops. We cover a wide range of topics, including Growth and Wellness, Classroom Management, Technology Integration, Blended Learning, and so much more. 

Contact us today and see how we can help you reach your career goals. 

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