The US teacher training landscape 

Published: October 14th, 2022

Teacher training may be an essential component of an educator’s professional development, but our annual State of Technology in Education Report shows how widely this varies in practice. We’ve tracked how the national consensus of the education community shifts each year, as well as how satisfaction differs between teachers, IT administrators, and school leaders. 

This analysis reveals how well the training on offer serves school priorities and the educators themselves, and what they need more of. So what story does the data tell about the training experience of schools regionally? Here’s how training compares between each district, and which areas of the country are leading the way. Take a look at the trends.

Training priorities

In-class tech training is the most commonly cited top training priority across the country, and professional development is the least cited—both trends most profound in the West. This suggests a commitment to helping educators get the most value out of their classroom edtech, but less effort to support their career progression and management skills. 

To ensure staff buy-in of schools’ training priorities, it’s crucial to field opinions from across job roles when creating your strategy. It’s also important to devote attention not just to perennial concerns like safeguarding, but to changing student needs such as social-emotional learning. 

The amount of tech training 

The majority of educators in every region receive some tech training but feel more could be done. While the South has the most complete tech training on offer, with 18% receiving full tech training, the Northeast has the fewest educators left without any support (7%). Meanwhile, the Southwest has the fewest educators receiving full support (14%) and the most with none at all (12%), leaving them less confident in how to get the most out of their edtech and more likely to see it as an unnecessary burden. 

When more teacher training is available, educators are better positioned to maximize the value and ROI of edtech investments, and teachers’ productivity and student learning outcomes improve. 

Teacher training funding 

The majority of educators in all regions believe teacher training to be a funding priority and recognize it as a valuable way of preparing school staff to cater to their own and their students’ needs. However, there’s some variation across the country, with 9 out of 10 educators in the West identifying teacher training as a funding priority in their school, and 25% of educators in the Midwest not believing that to be the case.  

The best way to set up teacher training to maximize educators’ productivity and the quality of instruction is by committing budget at the strategic level. Without this, it can become an ad-hoc, reactive solution, signaling a lack of care to educators. 

Allocation of teacher training budget 

Every region, apart from the Midwest, reports that their school’s allocation of budget towards teacher training is mostly at the right level but invested in the wrong things. The Midwest has the highest satisfaction, with 49% saying it’s at the right level, although one in four of the region’s educators believe it could be more appropriately invested. This concern over ineffective investment is the highest in the West (39%), although educators there feel the least worried about budget shortage, with only 12% believing the level is too low. The most complaints about inadequate budget are found in the Southwest (28%). 

Find out how to structure your teacher training to equip educators with the right skills for supporting themselves and their school strategy by downloading our primer.