Importance of Professional Development in DCPS | Arts & Culture

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Importance of Professional Development in DCPS
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 and skills.

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 research scientists.

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 -

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.  


View the First Coast Scholars video to learn more:

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

To meet with seminar leaders to hear about the seminars
here  and scroll down to “Pre-registration and Information Meeting”
For more information contact:
David F. DeRidder Director Outreach Programs
Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership
Office -904.348.5759
Email -

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