Benchmark – Lifelong Learner Professional Development Plan
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As an educator, the learning process never stops. Once in the classroom, continuing to keep up with trends, research, and best practices is critical to excelling professionally. In addition, educators are required to obtain hours of professional development or continued education to maintain their teaching certificates long-term.
For this assignment, you will be outlining a lifelong learning plan for your own professional growth and development. Begin by researching your state’s professional growth and continuing education requirements for maintaining a teacher’s license.
Research local, state, and national organizations that offer professional development for early childhood educators. In your search, consider the ethical expectations of a teacher, the responsibilities of teachers to serve as advocates for the education of young children, and the importance of staying up-to-date on education related issues and current trends.
Create a 12-15 slide digital presentation for first year educators describing your ongoing professional development plan.
Include in your presentation the following:
How early childhood professional development informs and enhances practice in order to maximize learning outcomes.
A summary of themes from NAEYC professional standards and how they inform early childhood education.
Apply theories from research that would promote professional practice within early childhood education.
Examples of current professional development opportunities (webinars, conferences, workshops, courses, etc.) in the field of early childhood.
Title slide, references slide, and detailed speaker’s notes.
Support your assignment with 3-5 scholarly references, one of which should be professional and ethical standards.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.
This assignment uses a rubric. Review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.
This benchmark assignment assesses the following programmatic competencies:
MEd Early Childhood
5.1: Engage in ongoing, collaborative professional development from the early childhood education field to inform practice in order to maximize learning outcomes. [NAEYC 6a, 6c; InTASC 4(o), 4(p), 9(a), 9(b), 9(d), 9(e), 9(l), 10(e), 10(f), 10(g), 10(i), 10(n), 10(r); ISTE-T 3a, 4a, 4c, 5d]
5.2: Model the expectations of the profession by upholding ethical standards, professional standards of practice, and relevant laws and policies. [NAEYC 6b; InTASC 9(f), 9(i), 9(o); ISTE-T 4a; MC3, MC5]
5.3: Integrate relevant, research-based perspectives on early childhood to promote professional practice. [NAEYC 6d; InTASC 9(n), 10(h), 10(t); ISTE 5b, 5c; MC1]
#Benchmark: A Lifelong Learning Plan for Early Childhood Educators
##Professional Standards and Responsibilities
As educators, we have an ethical obligation to stay current on research, trends, and best practices in early childhood education. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) outlines several professional standards that guide this work. Standard 6 emphasizes the importance of engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to stay informed and enhance one’s teaching practice (NAEYC, 2011). As advocates for children, teachers must also serve as leaders in the field by upholding standards of professional conduct and keeping abreast of relevant policies and laws impacting education.
##State Requirements for Certification
To maintain my teaching certification in [STATE], I must complete a minimum of [NUMBER] professional development hours every [NUMBER] years (State Department of Education, 2023). These hours can be earned through various workshops, trainings, and college courses focused on early childhood topics. When developing my lifelong learning plan, I will use my state’s requirements as a baseline and aim to exceed these minimums through purposeful, ongoing professional growth opportunities.
##Local and National Resources
Several reputable organizations in my area offer high-quality professional development opportunities for early childhood educators. For example, the [LOCAL ORGANIZATION] frequently hosts workshops led by experts on topics like curriculum development, classroom management strategies, and working with diverse learners (Organization Website, 2023). On a national level, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) provides an annual conference, webinars, and online courses taught by industry leaders (NAEYC, 2023).
Research shows that applying theoretical frameworks to one’s teaching practice can positively impact student outcomes (Author, Date; Author, Date). As part of my lifelong learning plan, I will take graduate-level courses exploring theorists like [THEORIST 1] and [THEORIST 2] to strengthen my understanding of child development and learning. Understanding developmental milestones and applying [THEORIST]’s socio-cultural perspectives in the classroom could help me better meet students’ individual needs.
##Sample Professional Development Opportunities
Over the next five years, I plan to participate in the following professional learning opportunities:
Attend the annual NAEYC conference each fall to network with colleagues and learn about current research and best practices in sessions led by experts in the field.
Complete a 15-hour online early childhood curriculum course through [LOCAL COLLEGE] to renew my teaching certification in 2025.
Attend monthly workshops offered by [LOCAL ORGANIZATION] on topics like culturally responsive teaching, social-emotional learning assessment, and integrating technology in early education.
Pursue a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from [UNIVERSITY] with a projected graduation date of 2028. Coursework will cover developmental theory, curriculum design, leadership, and conducting action research in the classroom.
Attend the annual state early childhood education conference in 2024 and 2026.
Complete free, self-paced online modules on topics like supporting dual language learners through [STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION] in 2023 and 2025.
By following this five-year professional development plan, I will continuously strengthen my practice to better serve young children and fulfill my ethical responsibilities as an educator. Regular collaboration and learning helps ensure I stay current on research and provide the highest quality education experiences. This plan will also help me meet my state’s certification requirements long-term. References are included below in APA format.
American Psychological Association. (2019). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2011). Code of ethical conduct and statement of commitment. https://www.naeyc.org/resources/position-statements/ethical-conduct – custom essay writing service.
State Department of Education. (2023). Educator certification renewal requirements. https://www.statedoe.gov/certification
Organization Website. (2023). Professional development. https://www.organization.org/pd
NAEYC. (2023). Professional development. https://www.naeyc.org/professional-development