BLOGS  >  FEBRUARY 16, 2024

Professional Development: An Investment in the Future of Education - FSS

Investing in professional development is more than just a matter of allocating time and resources. It’s a strategic investment in the future of education. For K-12 educators, effective budgeting for professional growth is crucial. District and school administrators must recognize the value of equipping their staff with the most current educational strategies and technologies. 

“The world of education is constantly adapting and changing,” said Carrie Friday, a teacher-librarian and media specialist at Melbourne High School in Melbourne, Florida. “Budgeting for quality professional development opportunities is critical to having a well-equipped staff.” 

Friday explained that professional development is not just an investment in staff but in students as well. 

“When teachers have quality opportunities to develop, they share those skills with their colleagues and others in their district,” Friday continued. “Their skills are sharper, their teaching is better, and their students have improved opportunities for success.”

Make staff education a priority. 

While limited budgets and competing priorities can make it challenging for administrators to set aside funds for professional development, educational leaders must advocate for a dedicated professional development budget line. This will help ensure that financial constraints don’t hinder learning for teachers and librarians or for the students they support. Friday said it’s also essential that educators advocate for themselves and seek out opportunities for growth and learning. 

“As someone who is the only one on my campus with my position, it is critical that I seek out opportunities to grow and learn in my particular field,” Friday said. “Most of the training we receive from the district or school is really suited more for someone who is a classroom teacher, and I’m not. By pursuing professional development in my field, I can keep up with the newest ideas, trends, and tools to best support our staff and my students. Also, professional development works best when it’s authentic and is a skill set you are looking to improve. By seeking out your professional development, you can target your learning to what you need the most and what you are most interested in.”

In the ever-evolving landscape of K-12 education, the importance of professional development cannot be overstated. It equips educators with the latest tools and strategies to enhance their teaching methodologies and meet the diverse needs of their students. As the custodians of learning, it is essential for teachers, administrators, and support staff to stay abreast of educational trends and technological advancements.

Follett offers virtual learning opportunities. 

One such opportunity for professional growth can be found through Follett’s cutting-edge virtual institutes. Resource management is a pivotal part of this ecosystem, and for users of Follett Destiny® Resource Manager, the Follett Institute scheduled for this spring is an ideal forum for learning how to maximize the potential of this powerful tool. Tailored sessions led by Destiny Senior Solutions Consultants offer hands-on learning experiences, enabling resource management staff from various campuses to collaborate and refine their skills to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness in resource allocation.

Likewise, with the continuing rise of digital learning, teacher-librarians must evolve, too. Follett’s virtual training offerings are designed to foster this growth, offering comprehensive training on Follett Destiny® Library Manager. Whether you’re just starting your career or are looking to deepen your expertise, these nine-hour training modules – spread over three workshops and priced at just $198 – are an investment in the future of your institution’s digital learning environment. From mastering the Back Office Basics to the more advanced Back Office and Follett Destiny Discover® protocols, these sessions promise to enrich participants with knowledgeable insights applicable to their daily responsibilities.

Hearing directly from teachers who have experienced the value of professional development firsthand further highlights the importance of investing in professional development. Take it from Debra Kauer, a librarian at Larned High School in Larned, Kansas.  

“I have had the privilege of attending three of the Follett Institute trainings,” Kauer said. “I began with Back Office Basics, then took Destiny Discover Training, and finally Back Office Advanced. I came away with a wealth of information from all three training sessions, but I was especially pleased with the training that covered only Destiny Discover. Since receiving that training, I have been able to create a number of useful collections, especially for our English teacher.” 

Kauer further expressed the growth in confidence and proficiency gained from these sessions, emphasizing how they have led to a tangible enhancement of the learning environment. This endorsement showcases the efficacy of the Follett Institute’s training programs and strengthens the argument for why districts and schools should prioritize professional development in their budgets.

Destiny experts love supporting educators.

Bonnie Given, MLIS, is a Destiny Software Trainer who helps lead the Follett Institute training sessions. She loves connecting with educators and providing cutting-edge opportunities for professional development that she knows will create a ripple effect through classrooms, libraries, schools, and districts.    

“Our recent updates to the Follett Institute curriculum have created a unique workshop webinar,” Given said. “Forget the traditional sit-and-get webinar where you just listen. In these trainings, you will get the opportunity to practice the skills we demonstrate, and we are there to help you as you learn.” 

Given shared a success story from an attendee who participated in the Destiny Discover Institute. After working alongside the Destiny experts during the training sessions, the educator transformed her Destiny Discover. Her students noticed – and appreciated ­– the changes the very next day. Seeing how the changes elevated her students’ engagement level was rewarding and inspiring for the attendee – and Given. 

“The sessions provide a great combination of Destiny skills and library best practices,” Given said. “I love that we offer these at a value price point that is affordable for participants from a single school to larger districts as well. Come join us at Follett Institute. We would love to see you there!”

Invest in your future and the future of your students. 

Allocating funds for programs like the ones offered by Follett Institute signifies a commitment to excellence and the realization that the benefits – greater teacher efficacy, improved student outcomes, and a culture of continuous improvement – far outweigh the costs. Building a robust professional development budget is an essential step in acknowledging the role educators play in shaping the future.

Remember, professional development within K-12 education is not merely a supplement to the day-to-day duties of educational staff. It is the backbone of a thriving educational environment. Training sessions like those offered by Follett School Solutions are stepping stones to achieving a higher standard of academic excellence. By continuously investing in professional growth and adopting new approaches, educators can create a more engaging and enriching learning experience for their students. Take advantage of the opportunities provided by Follett to stay ahead of the curve and make a positive impact on your educational community. 

Register today for Follett Institute:

Destiny Resource Manager  Destiny Library Manager

P.S. For other professional development opportunities, click here! 

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