Finding Your PD Niche

Dana GoodierBlog, Connect Better, Lead Better, Reflect Better


  • Start by determining what you want to learn this year.
  • Find organizations offering professional development opportunities.
  • Brainstorm various ways to get funding.
  • Reevaluate your professional development plan regularly to make changes as needed.

What do you want to learn?

Many educators are looking for ways to fulfill their needs for salary advancement, re-licensure, or progress on their professional growth plan. First, think about what you’d like to learn.

Furthermore, how do you filter through the wide array of professional development offerings? My most recent PD opportunities have been offered through professional organizations such as AMLE and ASCD. If you’re also a member of educational professional organizations, it’s likely you often receive e-mails about their webinars and other PD offerings. Social media is also a great place to check.

How to Determine What PD Your Team Needs

  • Social-emotional learning is essential going into next year. How comfortable does your team feel in using SEL strategies?
  • When do you need to make decisions?
  • In which modality does your team learn best?
  • Are there any curriculum changes your team needs to consider?

Securing Funding

Once you find a training opportunity, do you have funding available from your district?

You can find out if there are any “carry-over funds” from the 20-21 school year. Fortunately, PD funds often carry over from year to year, especially if the PD is tied to your evaluation and professional learning goals.

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How to Develop a PD Plan

  • Develop a plan with each member to fit their professional needs.
  • Ask yourself, what works best for my learning styles and professional goals?
  • Your end goal statement should include what you’ll need to keep growing.
  • Reevaluate what you thought to include in your yearly PD plan.

Reach Out

I hope this blog post has given you some ideas to start working on this year’s professional growth plan. Please tweet me or reach out via my website with any questions you may have. Happy Professional Learning!

About Dana Goodier

Dr. Dana Goodier has 20 years of experience in education. She has taught World Languages and English and worked as a middle school administrator. She completed her doctorate degree (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership early 2020. For her dissertation, she researched reasons parents were opting their students out of high-stakes testing at middle schools and how that affected the district accreditation rating. She often speaks at conferences, providing educators with techniques to minimize off-task behavior and to increase time on task. She is the host of the “Out of the Trenches” podcast, which features educators who share their stories of resiliency. Follow her on Twitter @danagoodier and visit her website at: