4 reasons your teachers hate PD and what to do about it

Professional learning is essential to a teacher's growth and development, but unfortunately, many teachers report feeling dissatisfied with their PD experiences. Here are four reasons your teachers may roll their eyes at professional development - and what leaders can do about it.

"One size fits all" approach

Just as learning should be differentiated for our students, it shouldn't be “one-size-fits-all” for teachers. Research suggests strong dissatisfaction with PD when it fails to consider educator needs or experience. 

Those who have engaged with asynchronous personalized learning have repeatedly reported that, with self-directed PD, they can be in control of their own learning.  Allowing educators voice and choice in their professional learning opportunities makes all the difference! 

Takes them away from their classroom, and students

Teachers already have a lot on their plates, and taking them away from their classrooms and students for PD can be challenging. In fact, studies show that 30% of teachers work an average of 10 to 11-hour days, with many of those hours being unpaid.  That said, it is a lot to ask teachers to stay late or come in early for PD, attend in-person training during the summer, or require them to get a sub and write lesson plans in order to attend a training. 

Meaningful job-Embedded PD can allow teachers to complete training during the regular school day (within their contracted hours) and create authentic products they can use in their classroom.

"Sit-and-get" approach

Most professional development includes sitting through direct instruction in a classroom-style conference room with an administrator talking at educators - a "sage on the stage," if you will, with little collaboration. 

Our recent white paper shows that teachers find self-directed, hands-on virtual PD 90% more engaging than traditional face-to-face training. In addition to personalization and application of skills or concepts, educators also find that gamification and a little friendly competition can go a long way.


With teacher shortages and educators being stretched thin in general, PD is dropping down on the list of priorities in K-12 districts. Training that is not intentionally designed to fit the roles and needs of each adult learner can feel like box-checking, which doesn't respect their time, knowledge, and experience. 

In conclusion, PD is an essential part of a teacher's growth and development, but it must be provided to meet their needs and respect their time. By providing self-directed, interactive, and personalized PD, teachers can grow and improve while also enjoying the learning experience.

To learn more about how to design and facilitate PD that teachers love, schedule a professional learning consultation with our Chief Learning Officer,
Amy Vitala, Ed.D. here.