22+ Amazing Summer Professional Development Adventures for Teachers

Equal parts fun and educational.

Learning about Asian culture in Hawaii and visiting pyramids in Egypt as examples of summer professional development for teachers.

While many non-teachers think that teachers spend their summers sitting poolside, eating bonbons, and sipping margaritas, teachers know that the summer months often include prepping for the upcoming academic year. And while all teachers deserve a big dose of rest come summertime, many teachers take advantage of summer professional development opportunities. Thankfully, many summer professional development opportunities for teachers are equal parts fun and educational. We’ve rounded up the best in-person and online professional development for K–12 teachers for summer 2023.

Summer Travel Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers

1. Explore educational movements in Harlem (New York City, NY)

Aerial view of NYC

Every summer, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) offers tuition-free opportunities for K–12 educators to study various humanities topics at locations across the United States. Stipends of $1,300 to $3,420 help cover expenses for these one- to four-week programs. At the Harlem’s Education Movements: Changing the Civil Rights Narrative (New York, NY) summer institute, teachers are immersed in the vibrant, historic Harlem neighborhood for an in-depth study of civil rights narratives. Among the 30+ other professional development seminars this year, topics include Racialized Spaces on Route 66 (Flagstaff, AZ), Reconsidering Flannery O’Connor (Milledgeville, GA), and Becoming US: The Immigrant Experience through Primary Sources (Philadelphia, PA). Some programs are also offered online.

Dates: July 17–21, 2023 (virtual); July 24–28, 2023 (residential) (submission deadline: March 1, 2023)

Cost: Free (stipend provided)

Audience: K–12 educators


Learn more: National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institutes and Seminars 

2. Study community, conservation, and the environment at Walden Pond (Concord, MA)

Aerial view of Walden Pond

“Approaching Walden” is a six-day summer professional development seminar for educators that includes workshops on conservation and the environment based on the works of Henry David Thoreau. There are also field visits to Walden Pond in historic Concord, Massachusetts.

Dates: July 16–21, 2023 (submission deadline: March 1, 2023)

Cost: $50 (up to $600 stipend provided)

Audience: 9–12 educators

Learn more: Approaching Walden | The Walden Woods Project

3. Think creatively and collaboratively about teaching the Holocaust (New York, NY)

The skyline of New York City

Named after Olga Lengyel, author and survivor of Auschwitz, the Olga Lengyel Institute (TOLI) was established to educate teachers about human rights and social justice through the lens of the Holocaust. The TOLI Regional Seminar Program consists of five-day seminars focused on the Holocaust and other genocides by giving teachers strategies, materials, and ideas for use in their own classrooms.  

Dates: June 21–30, 2023 (submission deadline: March 1, 2023)

Audience: Middle school, high school, and college educators

Cost: Free ($350 fellowship, dormitory housing, and round-trip airfare provided)

Learn more: The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights Summer Seminars

4. Explore life in the 18th century and President George Washington at Mount Vernon (Alexandria, VA)

Mount Vernon, The home of former president of the USA George Washington

Dig deep into the life of our nation’s first president and the 18th-century world he lived in at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate. K–12 teachers of all disciplines are invited to attend this 5-day immersive professional development program. You’ll also learn student-centered ways to bring Washington to life in your classroom. 

Dates: Various dates from June 13 to August 5, 2023 (submission deadline: January 16, 2023)

Audience: K–12 educators

Cost: Free (includes lodging and airfare, plus an average of $350–$700 travel reimbursement)

Learn more: Summer Residential Programs at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

5. Teach abroad to bring an international perspective to your classroom (worldwide)

Group of students standing with English teacher who is teaching abroad, as an example of summer professional development for teachers

Source: Fulbright Teacher Exchanges

Are you looking to bring an international perspective into your classroom? The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program sends K–12 educators to participating countries to support projects in schools, teacher training colleges, government ministries, or educational nongovernmental organizations.

Dates: Various (rolling applications)

Audience: 9–12 educators

Cost: Free (includes project activities, international airfare, living expenses, meals, and an honorarium)

Learn more: Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program

6. Sail aboard an ocean research vessel with NOAA (various locations)

NOAA ship at sea

Source: NOAA

Spend two weeks to one month sailing the high seas with the Teacher at Sea program, a fantastic opportunity that brings K–12 teachers and working scientists aboard an ocean research vessel. Teachers will return to their classrooms with firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to live and work at sea plus ideas for incorporating marine science into the classroom. 

Dates: Various dates; cruises last one week to one month (submission deadline: 30-day application window in the fall)

Audience: K–12 educators

Cost: Educators’ on-ship living expenses and meals are covered by NOAA.

Learn more: Teacher at Sea Program | NOAA Fisheries

7. Examine life in early America (Williamsburg, VA)

The Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. A brick Colonial house with a courtyard, and former home of Thomas Jefferson.

From 1699 to 1780, Williamsburg, Virginia, was the political and cultural hub of the American colonies. Colonial Williamsburg examines life in colonial America during its informative and fun three-day onsite seminars, workshops, and webinars for K–12 educators. 

Dates: Program and submission dates vary

Audience: K–12 educators

Cost: Program costs vary; many programs are offered free of charge thanks to the Friends of Colonial Williamsburg.

Learn more: Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute Programs

8. Journey through ancient history (Egypt, Peru, Rwanda, Uganda, Sri Lanka)

The Pyramids and bedouins in the desert of Giza, Egypt.

Intrepid Travel introduces teachers to the world via summer travel itineraries that promise to be educational, inspirational, and unforgettable. Earn professional development credits for continuing education as you embark on a journey through the history of Ancient Egypt, visiting the iconic pyramids and sailing down the Nile River; hike the Inca Trail in Peru; encounter resilience and rare wildlife in Rwanda and Uganda; or cycle Sri Lanka. There’s an adventure for every type of teacher under the sun: from the teacher who wants to trek in search of gorillas and the Big Five in Kenya to the teacher who wants to while away a week exploring the wineries and cultural gems of Tuscany

Dates: Program and application dates vary

Audience: K–12 educators

Cost: Program costs vary; present your teacher ID upon registration for a 10% discount.

Learn more: Intrepid Travel

9. Use graphic novels at the American Museum of Natural History to help  students better understand science concepts (New York, NY)

Outside view of the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, as an example of summer professional development for teachers

Source: Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Center for Science Teaching and Learning at the American Museum of Natural History invites K–12 teachers to continue learning and stay engaged with free online, hybrid, and on-site professional learning opportunities. Programs for summer 2023 include The Climate Change Wall, Studying the Sun-Earth System Using Shadows, Helping Students Understand Science Concepts Using Graphic Novels, and more. 

Dates: Program and application dates vary

Audience: K–12 educators

Cost: Free for K–12 educators

Learn more: CTLE Professional Learning for K-12 Teachers | AMNH

10. Bring Asian culture into your classroom (Honolulu, HI)

Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head Crater including the hotels and buildings in Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu island, Hawaii. Waikiki Beach in the center of Honolulu has the largest number of visitors in Hawaii

The National Consortium for Teaching About Asia (NCTA) hosts low- or no-cost online and in-person seminars, workshops, and travel programs for K–12 teachers of all content areas. NCTA programs are offered by seven national coordinating sites and several partner sites located at major universities across the country. University credit is available for some programs. Summer teacher residential programs for 2023 include Teaching East Asian Literature (Bloomington, Indiana), Women in Premodern East Asia: De-marginalizing Their Lives and Voices (Boulder, Colorado), and Ties That Bind: Honolulu (Honolulu, Hawaii).

Dates: Program and application dates vary

Audience: K–12 educators

Cost: Free for K–12 educators

Learn more: Asia Educational Programs & Courses – NCTAsia

11. Conduct research alongside working scientists (worldwide)

Two teachers backpacking out on green trails for summer professional development

Source: Earthwatch.org

Are you a K–12 teacher passionate about conservation, environmental sustainability, and lifelong learning? Earthwatch Education Fellowship gives K–12 teachers of any discipline the fully or partially funded opportunity to conduct real-world research alongside working scientists in incredible locations worldwide. Project Kindle, another amazing Earthwatch opportunity, is a fully funded expedition for K–12 teachers looking to create more immersive, STEM-focused learning experiences.

Dates: Program and application dates vary

Audience: K–12 educators

Cost: Program costs vary, with most programs for K–12 educators fully or partially funded.

Learn more: Teacher Fellowships | Earthwatch

12. Investigate the history of Latina and Latino people in the United States at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History offers 23 academically rigorous online and in-person programs for K–12 teachers looking to learn about a wide range of American history topics. New programs for 2023 include The History of Latina and Latino People in the U.S., with Geraldo L. Cadava (Northwestern University); American Indian History since 1900, with Donald L. Fixico (Arizona State University); Making Modern America: Business & Politics in the Twentieth Century, with Margaret O’Mara (University of Washington); and Presidential Leadership at Historic Crossroads with Barbara A. Perry (University of Virginia).

Dates: Program dates vary (registrations will close once full or as late as June 16)

Audience: K–12 educators

Cost: Free ($200 registration fee; participants responsible for travel and transportation costs)

Learn more: 2023 Summer Professional Development | Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

13. Immerse yourself in German culture (Germany)

Historic town Rothenbourg ob der Tauber with colorful houses on street, Franconia, Bavaria, Deutschland.

The Transatlantic Outreach Program – Goethe-Institut USA fellowship allows K–12 STEM teachers to live in Germany for two weeks. As you explore Germany, you’ll also have the chance to connect with German educators, learn about European Community education initiatives, and develop curricula that you can take home to your stateside classroom. 


  • Social Studies: June 9 to June 24, 2023, or June 23 to July 8, 2023
  • STEM: June 23 to July 8, 2023
  • Applications must be submitted on or before 5 p.m. ET on Monday, February 6, 2023.

Audience: K–12 educators

Cost: Free (includes airfare, ground transportation, accommodations, two meals per day, entrance fees, and classroom resources and materials)

Learn more: 2023 study tour information – Goethe-Institut USA

14. Increase critical thinking skills in the classroom at the Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.)

Reading room Interior of the Library of Congress,Washington DC, USA, as an example of summer professional development for teachers

The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., hosts a free three-day professional development workshop where K–12 teachers can learn and practice strategies for using primary sources and increasing critical thinking in the classroom. The Library of Congress also offers several self-paced online webinars and workshops so you can design your own summer professional development. 

Dates: July 5–7; July 12–14; July 17–19. The deadline to apply is February 10, 2023.

Audience: K–12 educators

Cost: Free (participants responsible for all other costs, such as transportation, meals, and lodging)

Learn more: Onsite Workshops | Professional Development | Teachers | Programs | Library of Congress (loc.gov)

15. Teach high school English in high-needs schools abroad (Israel)

Israel flag with a view of old city Jerusalem and the KOTEL- Western wall, as an example of summer professional development for teachers

The TALMA Summer Fellowship is a 3 1/2-week summer professional development and co-teaching experience for K–12 teachers from around the world. Every summer, K–12 educators gather together in Israel to co-teach English in high-need schools alongside local teachers and attend special seminars on a variety of topics in education.  

Dates: June 26 to July 21, 2023 (rolling admissions)

Audience: K–12 educators

Cost: Free (includes social events, professional development workshops, round-trip flights, ground transportation, accommodations, health insurance, and food stipend)

Learn more: TALMA Fellowship (talmaisrael.com)

16. Set off on a National Geographic ocean voyage that brings new geographic awareness into your classroom (Arctic, Europe, Australia, Alaska, Galapagos, Japan, Central America, and more)

Traveler woman sitting on canoe with aurora borealis over Spirit Island in Maligne lake at Jasper national park, Alberta, Canada

The Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship (GTF) is a free professional development opportunity for exemplary pre-K–12 educators. Set off on a Lindblad Expeditions voyage for a life-changing, field-based experience that promises to bring new geographic awareness into your home classroom. Fellows also take on a two-year leadership commitment to support National Geographic’s education initiatives and may be asked to conduct webinars, co-design resources, participate in meetups, and mentor other educators.

Dates: Various (call for applications begins each fall)

Audience: K–12 educators

Cost: National Geographic covers all on-ship expenses for teachers.

Learn more: Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program | National Geographic Society

17. Learn to interpret and analyze weather information at the National Weather Service (Kansas City, MO)

National Weather Service Training Center (NWSTC) outside view, as an example of summer professional development for teachers

Source: weather.gov

Project Atmosphere is an online and (one-week) in-person teacher professional development program offered by the American Meteorological Society’s Education Program in partnership with Pennsylvania Western University (PennWest) and the National Weather Service. Designed for K–12 teachers who include weather content in their curriculum, participating teachers learn to interpret and analyze weather information acquired through direct and remote sensing of the environment, understand significant weather systems, and earn three graduate credits from Pennsylvania Western University upon completion of the program requirements. For summer 2023, the academic fee will be waived for all teachers selected to participate.

Dates: Application deadline: March 24, 2023

  • Pre-residence online work: July 10–22, 2023
  • On-site residence experience: July 23–29, 2023
  • Post-residence online work: July 30 to August 10, 2023

Audience: K–12 educators

Cost: Free (including all program fees, travel, and accommodations)

Learn more: Project Atmosphere – American Meteorological Society (ametsoc.org)

Online Summer Professional Development for Teachers

18. Fund for Teachers

The Fund for Teachers invests in teacher growth by providing financial support for educators’ self-guided study. Design your own professional development program in the United States or around the world. Fellows can request grants of up to $5,000; teams of two or more teachers can request grants of up to $10,000.

Learn more: Fund for Teachers

19. Facing History & Ourselves

Facing History & Ourselves offers on-demand webinars that cover a wide range of topics, including social studies, history, civics, ELA, equity and inclusion, and classroom culture. Most webinars qualify for professional development credit. Registration for these self-paced programs is free and a certificate of attendance is issued upon completion.

Learn more: Facing History & Ourselves

20. PBS TeacherLine

PBS TeacherLine offers 15-, 30-, or 45-hour online, self-paced courses for continuing education credits. Check out the Digital Adventures: Tech Fun for Summer Webinar to learn how to engage your students throughout the summer to prevent the dreaded summer brain drain. 

Learn more: PBS TeacherLine

21. Learning for Justice

Learning for Justice offers free, self-paced, on-demand webinars on increasing school equity. Topics include Supporting and Affirming Immigrant Students and Families and Trauma-Responsive Education: Supporting Students and Yourself.

Learn more: Learning for Justice

22. SciLearn

Learn more about the scientific side of teaching with free, self-paced, on-demand SciLearn webinars focused on the neuroscience of learning. Topics include K-12 Education Solutions Provider and The Positive Student Impact of Social-Emotional Learning.

Learn more: SciLearn

Plus, check out the Top Education Conferences of 2023.

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Thankfully, many of the 2023 summer professional development opportunities for teachers are equal parts fun and educational.