Do you think you benefit from teachers having PD days?

Stephanie Cairns
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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?

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Recent comments

  • Nick
    September 04, 2014 - 08:20

    Everyone gets on teachers for the summers, and so on. Who's on the seasonal workers for being on vacation as long as the teachers are working? Whether or not you want to think about it, you pay for them to do a lot less than you pay for teachers to do. Teachers have to be educated, be ready, be "on" everyday, put up with everyone's drama (kids can be better than their parents sometimes). Seasonal workers have "PD" days for 44 weeks. Emergency workers have "PD" days every week...on average there's whole days where they don't have to do anything. If you think something's for you and has great perks, go for it. Otherwise, quit whining.

    • Tonya
      November 03, 2014 - 08:15

      I agree with PD days to an extent. I do, however, disagree that there have to be so many of them. As a parent, I would like to see some transparency. Perhaps, it would be nice to know what is on the agenda and what is being presented/learned for our childrens' benefit. I am a health care provider on the front line and it is getting harder and harder to get to education. Often, I have to attend on my own after already putting in my 100%. This is time taken from my family and other commitments. When I chose my career, this was certainly not part of my consideration. I have to take the training so that I can provide the safest and most up-to-date care. It is my ethical duty. Why should a teacher have time allotted over a health care provider? Should it not be the ethical duty of a teacher as well?

  • Arnost Cepica
    July 05, 2014 - 11:07

    If other professions had to take days off for professional development, we would find it, let's say strange. The answer is in a) les classroom hours to provide time to read a variety of resource materials, provide access to and awareness of those materials, and also motivate teachers to spend some of their free time, to improve. Reward the innovating and imaginative teachers. Do NOT evaluate just by popularity. Some of the most popular teachers can still be ineffective.

  • Courtenay
    June 06, 2014 - 08:41

    Well said