To Improve as a Teacher, Set These Professional Goals


Professional development is crucial for any occupation, and teachers are no exception – they also want to grow professionally. Setting these goals can help you on your way to success in the classroom or if you teach online

When setting your goals, following the SMART principle is a good idea, meaning that your professional goals should be:

  • S – specific
  • M– meaningful, measurable, motivating
  • A – acceptable, achievable, action-oriented, agreed upon, attainable
  • R – realistic, reasonable, relevant, results-oriented, rewarding
  • T – tangible, timely

You can keep these goals in mind, but for more tangible results we recommend that you write them down and review them at least once a week. Or, even better, you can divide your professional growth plan into several milestones and accomplish them one by one.

This article provides a list of professional goals for teachers for your reference. If we missed something, you are free to add your own goals in the comments below.

This is a great professional growth plan for teachers

Avoid teacher burnout

It may be hard for teachers who are natural “givers”, but they should take some time for themselves and take care of themselves first, at least once a week. We are all humans, and all of us need a break. Sports, shopping, hanging out with friends – all of this help us become better versions of ourselves. Therefore, avoiding burnout should be a part of any professional development plan for teachers.

Use tech tools

Technology is now transforming many spheres of our life, including education. Therefore, the more technology you use in your classroom, the more chances you get to grow professionally due to innovations that will be added to your classroom.

Join an online community of teachers

If you have good writing or presentation skills, you can create an online blog and share your thoughts or tips based on your experience as a teacher. You can also create social media pages for your students to encourage their collaboration in a digital environment that they are already used to. Finally, you can join the online communities and/or forums where you can exchange thoughts and ideas that are related to the teaching process.

Build strong relationships with your fellow teachers 

Networking and communication are important for many professions. It should belong to your list of professional development goals for teachers. Take time to cultivate such relationships because one day these people may become your second family. You can also network with teachers and administrators from other schools in case you ever want to change up your job.

Add more fun activities to your lesson plan

Your goal as a professional teacher is to keep your students constantly engaged, and traditional exercises may be not enough for that. Try to be creative and add interactive games and warm-up activities that will make your students wait eagerly for your lessons.

Incorporate new teaching strategies 

For example, you can use the comprehensible input strategies – direct instruction, joint construction, coached construction, and so on – and build your lessons around those strategies. Such professional goals for teachers will help you grow personally as well.

Become a National Board Certified Teacher 

If you are based in the US, you can get this certification to add another achievement to your CV.

Become more organized

Of course, many teachers are organized by nature. However, if you feel that there is a room for improvement, then browse the web for various tips on how to organize your time, your files, and your classroom.

Work abroad as an exchange teacher 

Teachers, especially those who teach English to kids, have a unique opportunity to participate in a cultural exchange program and teach foreign students abroad. Such experiences will extend your teacher’s portfolio significantly.

Attend a professional development school 

In the US and Canada, universities collaborate with PD schools for teachers to work with problems that are relevant to everyday practices of teachers, schools and educational systems.

Attend symposia, retreats, conferences, seminars, webinars and other events for teachers 

As a result of attending these events, you will get an opportunity to learn new teaching styles and work with colleagues to collaborate to uncover different professional goals for teaching.

Invite parents of your students to collaborate 

Encourage parents to actively participate in their child’s education. Assign a family project or invite parents to come to Fun Friday. There are many ways to involve parents more, you just have to make it a priority.

How To You Grow Professionally as a Teacher?

We hope that having read our examples of professional goals for teachers, you are now ready to develop your own professional growth plan. Teachers, please share the best tools and systems for professional development in the comments below.