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8 Professional Development Topics to Include in New Teacher Training

8 Professional Development Topics to Include in New Teacher Training

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” ~ B.B. King

When a teacher arrives in your school district for the first time, they undoubtedly arrive with training that has helped them understand what it is to be a teacher and how to connect with their students. Ideally, they also arrive with the knowledge that to be an educator is also to be a perpetual student.

At Alludo, we know from experience that hiring and retaining teachers and staff is a major hurdle for school districts around the country in light of the ongoing teacher shortage. We also know that the right onboarding system can help you hire more teachers by providing necessary training and support to substitutes. It’s for that reason that we have included multiple topics that are useful in new teacher orientation in our professional development content catalog.

With that in mind, here are eight professional development topics that we think should be included in new teacher training.

Table of Contents

  1. What Challenges Do New Teachers Face?
  2. 8 Topics to Include in New Teacher Training
    1. Classroom Management
    2. Social Emotional Learning
    3. Self-Care
    4. Instructional Technology
    5. Digital Citizenship
    6. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
    7. Mentorship
    8. Collaboration
  3. What Resources Can Help New Teachers?
  4. Alludo's Take

What Challenges Do New Teachers Face?

New teachers enter their jobs with education and some hands-on experience, but they often experience difficulties and challenges as they get acclimated to the classroom. Here are some of the most common challenges they face:

  • Classroom management. Surveys have indicated that 85% of teachers feel that the biggest challenge to new teachers is maintaining order in the classroom
  • Lack of guidance and resources. Lesson planning can sometimes pose a challenge even for the most experienced teachers. New teachers may struggle if they’re not provided with the guidance and instructional materials they need to create engaging lesson plans for their students.
  • Unsupportive environments. Support for new teachers needs to be available from multiple sources. It should start at the district level. New teachers need support from fellow teachers and administrators in their schools and school leaders need to foster a collegial atmosphere.
  • Evolving technology. It can be a challenge for new teachers to get up to speed on classroom technology. They also need ongoing technical education to stay abreast of changes and keep up with their students.
  • Work-life balance. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is important in every profession and particularly important in teaching since teachers give so much of themselves to their students. 


A failure to address these challenges may contribute to new teacher burnout and turnover. School districts and school administrators can best serve new teachers by providing professional development and onboarding to address these challenges and give teachers the tools and training they need to do their best work in the classroom.


8 Topics to Include in New Teacher Training

In light of the potential challenges faced by new teachers, here are eight topics to include in new teacher training in your district.

#1: Classroom Management

Classroom management is a topic that encompasses a variety of necessary skills that can help teachers become classroom leaders with the knowledge and experience to moderate student behavior, communicate expectations, and serve as role models.

Basic instruction in classroom management may focus on helping teachers with issues related to student compliance and behavior management. However, viewed through a broad lens, classroom management can and should incorporate anything that teachers can do to help their students learn. Specific topics may include the following:

  • How to create a classroom environment that welcomes students
  • How to encourage student excellence and engagement
  • How to maintain a positive attitude in the classroom
  • How to treat students with respect and fairness
  • How to encourage students to treat one another with respect and kindness
  • How to design effective and engaging lessons
  • How to successfully communicate expectations to students

Classroom management training provides beginning teachers with a bedrock of understanding and support that they’ll carry with them every day as they educate students.

#2: Social Emotional Learning

Social emotional learning (SEL) is a popular professional development topic because it speaks directly to how teachers interact with their students. It helps teachers develop the self-awareness, self-control, communication skills, and interpersonal skills they need to help their students succeed.

SEL topics may include the following:

  • Understanding how to connect with students who struggle with mental illnesses
  • Reaching students who have experienced trauma
  • Helping students cope with anxiety
  • Setting boundaries with students
  • Communicating effectively with parents

These SEL topics all play a role in how well teachers can do their jobs, particularly as it relates to students’ mental health.

#3: Self-Care

Self-care is essential for anybody in a profession where burnout is an issue, and that of course includes teachers. Teachers put a lot of themselves into their jobs and may need help acquiring a self-care toolbox that allows them to cope with the stresses of their work.

Self-care topics may include the following:

  • Self-care for wellness
  • Setting boundaries
  • Good health practices for teachers
  • Wellness tools

Self-care training can help teachers take better care of their students by taking better care of themselves.


#4: Instructional Technology

Instructional technology continues to play an important role in K-12 classrooms and teachers must stay abreast of technology if they want to engage their students, who are all digital natives.

The Alludo content catalog includes a broad array of instructional technology courses, including these:

  • Zoom
  • Google Classroom
  • Khan Academy
  • Kahoot!
  • iPad
  • Seesaw
  • Tedx

This is just a small sampling of what we have to offer, so teachers can choose the tools that they believe will be most useful and pursue professional development to master them and bring them to the classroom.

#5: Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship empowers teachers to protect themselves online and teach their students how to protect themselves, too. It may include these topics: 

  • Digital literacy
  • Cyberbullying
  • Privacy and security
  • Ethics
  • Common sense media
  • Online communication

Since today’s students and teachers spend so much time online, it makes sense to prioritize digital citizenship training for new teachers.


#6: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Today’s classrooms are more diverse than ever, with students hailing from a wide variety of races, religions, and economic backgrounds. Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) training provides teachers with specialized learning to help them help their students. Here are some DEI topics to consider:

  • Understanding diversity
  • Recognizing microaggressions in the classroom
  • The influence of unconscious bias
  • Communication for inclusion

Without proper training, new teachers may inadvertently play into unconscious biases or exclude students without meaning to do so. Offering DEI topics as part of professional development will help teachers be as inclusive as possible.

#7: Mentorship

Ongoing mentorship is one of the best ways to provide new teachers with the support they need. In many districts, there’s an effort to pair each new educator with an experienced mentor.

Mentoring relationships may happen even if there is no formal mentoring system in place. However, new teachers are most likely to acclimate to their jobs if they have collegial guidance in addition to structured learning.

#8: Collaboration

In a collaborative environment, teachers at every experience level know they can ask for advice and approach other teachers and educators for brainstorming or guidance, even outside of mentoring relationships.

At Alludo Learning, we offer Alludo Message Boards as a way for teachers to communicate with their online learning communities. They can share ideas, swap stories, and collaborate to develop lesson plans or arrive at solutions for students who are struggling.

It’s up to administrators on both the school and district level to encourage a collaborative atmosphere.


What Resources Can Help New Teachers?

New teacher training should provide teachers with resources as well as formal training. Here are a few resources to consider for teachers in your school system:

These resources are only a tiny sampling of what’s available. The more resources you provide to new teachers in your district, the better able they will be to excel in the classroom.

Alludo’s Take

At Alludo, we have included hundreds of learning activities across dozens of relevant topics in our content catalog because we recognize that professional development is one of the keys to making new teachers feel confident in the classroom. With the right training and ongoing professional learning opportunities, teachers are more likely to stay in their jobs. Since we know that teacher retention is a top priority in every school district, we’ve made it easy to give new teachers the support they need.

We created an onboarding system for substitute teachers in the Yucaipa Calimesa JUSD. The system worked so well that it has become an onramp for new teacher hiring—and we can do the same for your district.

Train New Teachers in Your District with Help from Alludo

New teachers in your district will get acclimated to their jobs and acquire the skills they need to connect with students if you provide them with an onboarding program that includes relevant professional development topics. The eight topics we’ve included here can help you get started.

Are you ready to train new teachers in your district with help from Alludo? Click here to get your free trial of Madagascar, our online professional learning platform.


What's New in the Alludo Catalog ?

What's New in the Alludo Catalog ?

“It would take us years to roll out all the PD that we can on Alludo." - Kathy Jackson, Director of Teaching and Learning for K-12, YCJUSD

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