The personal learning network for educators
I think there are two serious, and fundamental, questions underlying your situation.
First, if society doesn't tend to view teachers as professionals, how can a desire for professional development be part of how teachers see themselves? Drawing from that, do the parents of the students in your school support the idea? Do teachers have the opportunity to showcase their experience? You are offering the necessary support for your teachers to develop a professional development plan and test the ideas and tools you present to them, but is the larger school community supporting this (and how might that look)?