As a profession, teaching is marked by a perceptual contradiction. It is often spoken of—including by teachers themselves—as a highly inspiring and gratifying career. And yet it is an occupation known for its high burnout rate, and teachers frequently express profound feelings of frustration and powerlessness.
But this contradiction isn’t all that mysterious if you listen to the way teachers talk about their jobs. What they typically convey is that they see—and frequently achieve—amazing potential in their work with kids, but they also feel that potential is often thwarted by the exceptional demands placed on them, by unsupportive school environments, and by lack of opportunity.
With that tension in mind, we’ve used this issue of the Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook to take a look at professional development in a literal sense. In essence, through interviews with educators and articles on promising initiatives, we explore ways that teachers can grow and feel greater satisfaction and effectiveness in their careers.
Of course, you’ll also find our exclusive directory of professional development products and services—now with more than 400 vendors. We hope that, coupled with the magazine’s articles and interviews, the directory will give you new ideas and inspiration to develop and energize your practice.
If you like what you read and would like to receive future issues of the Sourcebook free of charge, go to www.teachermagazine.org/go/getsourcebook. And feel free to mail any comments or questions to us at email@example.com.
A version of this article appeared in the March 01, 2008 edition of Teacher PD Sourcebook as Career Enrichment