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Professional Development – Hard and Soft Skills for Teachers
What is professional development?
Professional development refers to skills and knowledge attained for both personal development and career advancement. It can include a huge variety of learning including accredited and non-accredited training courses or educational development in the form of conferences, practical learning and consultation and coaching.
When do you need professional development?
While a vast majority of careers require continuous on-the-job improvement and training, only a minority have specific requirements for ongoing professional development (think law, medicine, nursing and training)! If you are working within a field where development is NOT required, it’s always a good idea to set your own professional development goals to remain up current with industry standards of technology and techniques.
What is the benefit of professional development?
Apart from the personal gains of education and increased work performance, professional development will improve soft skills like team work and leadership, communication abilities and time management – important to all job roles!
Professional Development Benefit 1: Gain Soft Skills
So what are soft skills? Soft skills are a group of personal qualities, attitude and social graces that differentiate employees. Research has shown that soft skills have just as much impact on job performance as hard skills, making them a huge priority on an employer’s list.
People with soft skills might display the following characteristics:
• Time management (task prioritisation and ability to multi-task)
• Excellent communication skills (being both a good listener and speaker)
• Strong work ethic (including motivation and determination)
• Team work (ability to perform in groups through cooperation and leadership)
• Emotional intelligence (understanding and management of emotion)
• Leadership (self-confidence, ability to perform the task and inspire others)
• Graciousness (acceptance of constructive criticism and team support)
• Management style (flexibility and adaptability and ability to work under pressure)
• Positivity and enthusiasm (important for future success)
Professional Development Benefit 2: Gain Hard Skills
What are hard skills? Hard skills are defined as the skills required for a role that are not interpersonal. They are specific, teachable and quantifiable abilities. For a trainer or teacher, hard skills might include:
• A certificate or qualification (perhaps a Bachelor of Education or a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment)
• Knowledge of the content taught (either through education or prior experience in the field)
• Sound language and literacy
• Basic computer and word processing skills
• Skills acquired through professional development
Throughout a training/teaching career, the key to success is mastering and finding a balance between both soft skills and hard skills. One of the keys to achieving both hard and soft skills as a trainer is through professional development! Are you looking to create your own professional development plan? STOP… Inspire has done the hard work for you! For those interested in developing your own professional development plan DOWNLOAD: Inspire Education Professional Development Plan Template.
Are you a trainer? Have you undertaken accredited training or professional development to improve your soft and/or hard skills? What do you think is most important? We’d love to hear from you, so leave us your thoughts and opinions in a comment below!
Topics: Soft Skills, Professional Development
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