By investing time in worthwhile courses and experiences, you’ll not only be a better teacher in the school year to come, but also take care of your state-required professional development and continuing education hours. That said, the last thing you want to do is waste your precious summer hours on professional development that’s worthless. So, here are our best tips on how to find professional development and continuing education opportunities that are worth your time and energy.
1. Ask around. Other teachers who have taken courses or participated in professional development experiences are probably your best resource to find out exactly what you can expect from a particular course. So, call up your co-workers, head to a teacher forum or read up on what professional development experiences are most beneficial to other teachers.
2. Take an online course. Don’t be trapped by the idea that you have to physically show up at class to gain something from professional development. Online courses are very prevalent these days and can provide you with the flexibility you crave during your busy summer hours. (Need help finding a course? Check with some of our partners listed in point #3.)
3. Go with a reputable school or company. With hundreds of trustworthy education schools out there, there’s no reason to gamble on your professional development hours. Go with a school that has been around for awhile and is known to produce quality courses and content.
4. See what your district has to offer. Many large school districts host their own summer professional development academies where they partner with universities to offer relevant courses at a discounted rate for their teachers.
5. Pick courses you know you’ll love. It’s sometimes tempting to pick courses based on what’s available at the right times or that you know someone else is taking. Instead, choose a course that covers a topic that’s interesting to you and you’ll get a lot more out of it.
Question for you: What professional development or continuing education do you plan on doing this summer?