Empowering New Teachers for Success: The Importance of Comprehensive Professional Learning


June 20, 2024

Shannon Penrose

Shannon Penrose

Senior Vice President and Head of Education Solutions

As K-12 districts strive to support and retain new educators, it is crucial to provide them with comprehensive professional learning opportunities that equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the classroom.

New teachers often face a myriad of challenges as they navigate their first years in the profession, from managing student behavior to engaging learners and creating a positive classroom climate. Without proper support and training, these challenges can lead to high levels of stress, burnout and, ultimately, teacher attrition.

Recent research continues to emphasize the importance of effective professional development in improving teacher retention and student outcomes. Investing in the professional growth of new teachers is not only beneficial for their well-being and success but also a smart financial decision for school districts. The cost of teacher turnover can be substantial, with estimates ranging from $9,000 to $21,000 per teacher, depending on the district. By providing new teachers with comprehensive professional development, districts can reduce turnover rates, save money in the long run and ultimately improve student outcomes.

A solution for districts? Partnering with higher education institutions that can provide customized, credit-bearing professional learning programs tailored to your specific needs, such as turnkey educator preparation coursework. American College of Education is one such institution. ACE collaborates closely with district leadership to design innovative courses and learning pathways that align with district goals and provide opportunities for educators to enhance their skills and career progression.

For example, ACE’s comprehensive New Teacher Essentials professional learning bundle is a six-course progression that equips new teachers with the core skills they need to be successful when first leading a classroom. It focuses on classroom management, building a positive learning environment and fostering student engagement. Upon completion, teachers not only walk away more prepared, but with 18 semester credit hours they can then apply toward an advanced degree or licensure requirements.

Here is a breakdown of the courses in the bundle and what educators learn from each one:

  • Principles and Practices of Classroom Management: Learn how to implement evidence-based Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to help students develop social, emotional and behavioral self-management skills.
  • Developing Student Self-Management Skills: Learn how to implement cognitive-behavioral approaches to prevent and respond to challenging student behaviors.
  • Interventions for Students with Challenging Behaviors: Learn how to implement evidence-based behavioral interventions, focusing on Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2) with an emphasis on strategic Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions.
  • Creating Safe and Supportive Classrooms: Learn through hands-on experience how to implement preventive and positive classroom management strategies. Gain theoretical and practical knowledge about the relationships between school-wide systems and student development, learning and achievement.
  • Student Engagement: Learn how to establish high expectations for all students and effectively evaluate and implement theories of motivation and cognitive engagement in classroom learning.
  • Community of Learners: Learn how to implement strategies for creating a collaborative and supportive classroom environment, emphasizing the application of learner-centered principles, cooperative and problem-based learning strategies, and the promotion of integrated curriculum and critical thinking.

ACE’s New Teacher Essentials bundle offers a research-based approach to professional learning that empowers new teachers to create a positive, safe and supportive learning environment for their students.

By providing new teachers with a comprehensive, credit-bearing professional learning program that addresses these critical areas, K-12 districts can support, retain and help their new educators find success, leading to improved student outcomes and a positive return on investment. This commitment to professional growth is what will help districts ultimately build a strong, capable and dedicated workforce that can drive student success for years to come.

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