Summer Professional Development Options for Educators
Like many educators, one of my summer goals is to earn my professional development credit hours before I head back to school this fall. This allows me to replace hours required by state law for educators. This means I “get” two days off in October. Having the ability to take classes at my own pace is something that has become more common over the years. There are more options than ever!
Consider offering the following types of classes
Book study- This is a fun way to earn credits by just reading. By creating a schedule for online meetups this is the perfect way to check in to see how teachers are understanding the selected book. This is also a great way a district can involve all staff.
This is especially important for MS and HS teachers as well as specialists. The types of teachers are the first to complain that the staff PD has nothing to offer them. By accessing classes specific to their needs, they have great ideas for the upcoming year.
General education, technology, or district-specific goals- It’s nice to have a broad selection as well. This ensures the staff has the same understanding of basics and where the district is headed. Sometimes book studies can help with these topics as well. Technology is constantly changing and helping educators stay current in this area will always be in demand.
Classroom management- This has been and always will be a must for every teacher. Coming up with a new “bag of tricks” is vital to the ever-changing needs of a classroom.
Things to advise educators if they utilize self-paced classes
Be mindful of their situation. It’s difficult to stay motivated without procrastinating. You could design check-ins to be inspiring. As well as set a calendar up for important dates or set mini goals.
Make sure you are an approved provider. In my district, I must show proof of attendance and my PD coordinator will provide me with the correct documentation for the state. Sometimes college credits are a better option for educators. This will allow them to use them for salary advancements. Also, have a certificate or email ready for participants upon completion,
Consider working directly with schools for in-service or staff meetings. This is a great way to collaborate with educators and find out exactly their needs.
Continue to offer classes throughout the year. Most educators will complete the required hours during the summer, but in many districts, they have all year to earn the credits.
Make class recording easily accessible. Sometimes teachers just want to learn without earning credits. This creates a partnership with educators and buildings your relationship as a trusted PD provider.
As a stakeholder, you already know teachers enjoy their summer break. However, we never stop learning. Having professional development classes that are self-paced and selected is beneficial to help us prepare for the upcoming school year. Offering flexible classes which include engaging materials that are ready to use, helps us return to school this fall. Thanks for making our learning fun and just what we need!
Written by: Teresa Marchant
School Librarian at LOCKWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT 26
Teresa has been an educator for over 25 years. She holds a Masters in Educational Technology with an emphasis in Online Instruction from Montana State University as well as a certificate in School Library Media from the University of Washington. Over the years she has served in many capacities at the state and local level. Highlights include being the Vice Chair of the Certification Standards and Practices Advisory Council to the Montana Board of Public Education, a member of the School Leadership Team and Chair of the Professional Development Committee for her school district, and a member of Montana Library Association board. She loves learning and enjoys helping others!
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