A teacher development plan should include a list of goals, teaching commitments and a teaching philosophy. As part of the plan, teachers should include sub-goals, strategies and measures.
A teacher development plan should start out with a generalized description of where the teacher wants to be in the next five to 10 years. After that, the teacher narrows down the plan by creating steps for reaching that goal. The plan should also include measurements that indicate when the teacher has achieved the goal or sub-goal.
A central aspect of any development plan are meaningful goals, meaning they stretch current practices for the teacher and can add to the profession. In fact, most schools prefer teachers to include so-called "SMART" goals in their development plans. SMART goals are those that are specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented and time-based.
An example of a SMART goal for a teacher is planning to attend a specific subject-related conference within the school year in order to learn a set number of new techniques to utilize in the classroom. The SMART goals and development plan must be tailored to the teacher's professional needs.
Sometimes professional development plans include a teaching philosophy statement. This statement helps teachers clarify their goals and strategies. For instance, while developing goals, the teacher can relate them back to the teaching philosophy to ensure they coincide.