PD days are a staple in every teacher’s, and student’s life. For teachers, they are Professional Development days, where they learn, improve and hone their skills as educators. One of the most important lessons school ever taught me was that we never stop learning, be we children, teenagers, senior citizens or even teachers. A doctor who practices with only the procedures and skills he or she acquired in med school 20 years ago, will have difficulty in giving the care patients require. A writer who seldom develops or strengthens their craft can never hope to produce work of the quality they strive for. The same is equally, or perhaps more so, true for a teacher. Teachers have the often excessively daunting, and incredibly essential task of forming and shaping the minds of the future, and for this, they must be equipped with the necessary tools of success. In a changing cultural and increasingly technological landscape, how will teachers navigate these treacherous waters without guidance, without help? Without it, they will remain stagnant, never changing, never improving. They will miss out on all those little tips and tricks and techniques other experts can provide. PD days are, and must remain, obligatory, for the sake of our teachers, but even more so, for the sake of the students.
Students will be the ones to suffer if we eliminate PD days. They will be the ones to stop receiving the level of education they both need and deserve, but that won’t be the only consequence. PD doesn’t only stand for Professional Development, it can also signifies Personal Decompression. School might be an important part of a healthy mental state, but so is relaxing. Students need those rare days where they can just relax, just decompress from the stress of homework, school, friends, family, sports, activities, jobs, and their impending futures. I know I do.
So, why should PD days continue? They should continue for the teachers, for the students, and most of all, for the future; for where will we be without a sufficiently educated, mentally healthy next generation of innovators?