FEAP 05: Continuous Professional Improvement

  • The effective educator consistently:

    1. Designs purposeful professional goals to strengthen the effectiveness of instruction based on students’ needs;
    2. Examines and uses data-informed research to improve instruction and student achievement;
    3. Uses a variety of data, independently, and in collaboration with colleagues, to evaluate learning outcomes, adjust planning and continuously improve the effectiveness of the lessons;
    4. Collaborates with the home, school, and larger communities to foster communication and to support student learning and continuous improvement;
    5. Engages in targeted professional growth opportunities and reflective practices; and,
    6. Implements knowledge and skills learned in professional development in the teaching and learning process.



  • Continuous professional improvement is incredibly important in the teaching field. Effective teachers will always design lessons that are purposeful and based on the strengths and weaknesses of the student's needs. Giving lessons with quality instruction that is based on the students, it will promote understanding and success. When lessons are designed with that in mind, the students and teacher will have a much better experience and will enjoy leaving.

    The effective teacher will also examine and use data collected to progress their students and their lessons. Otherwise, there is no way to track progress or tell if the students are learning the desired material. When collecting data, the effective teacher will also use a variety of data and ways to collect the information. The more ways that a teacher is able to collect information, the better it will be for the students. The teacher will be able to determine if the students are learning if one particular method is more effective than another and also any patterns that may arise in misconceptions or what is being taught well.

    An effective teacher is also one that will collaborate with others to support student learning. They will collaborate with the student's homes, other schools, and especially other teachers. This provides them with more ideas than what they could find or come up with on their own; it’s the old saying "heads are better than one". This will be especially if a new teacher like myself can find a quality mentor to collaborate with to help my students.

    Not only should the effective teacher reach out to collaborate with others, but they will also engage in professional growth opportunities to better themselves. This means that they will look for and engage in growth opportunities offered by the school such as seminars or conferences. They will also actively search for professional growth opportunities that will advance and develop their skills outside of school. For example, music teachers should attend conferences held by the National Association of Music Education (NAfME), Midwest Clinic, Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), and my personal favorite, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC).

    Of course, the idea of attending these conferences is to implement the concepts learned into the classroom, which is what an effective teacher does. There is so much to lea in the conferences and if a teacher attends and comes back with nothing to share or implement in their classroom, they are doing a disservice to themselves, the profession, and especially the students.

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