Summer is the time to relax and recharge for most people, but for teachers, it’s also a time to take advantage of professional development opportunities. Whether you’re sitting by the pool or on vacation, summer is the perfect time to get in some professional learning so you can put that knowledge into practice the next school year.
The Importance of Continuous Professional Development
Professional development matters because as our students evolve, so should we. Investing in yourself and your students is the best way to ensure everyone grows. Not only does it help you become a better teacher, but it’s also a productive way to see how far you’ve come professionally.
When you set and achieve your professional development goals it’s a confidence booster. You can also carry it into your classroom and show students what you’ve learned. This will show students that you, too, are continuously learning and expanding your knowledge.
Summer Professional Development for Teachers
Summer school isn’t just for students. There are several ways you can expand your knowledge and expertise in your continued quest to reach your professional development goals as a teacher. Here are a few resources for teachers to try this summer:
Try an Online Teacher instructed Mini-Course
Enroll in an online workshop or mini-course like the Station Rotation Model Dr. Catlin R. Tucker offers. For $24.95 you can learn how to design and facilitate differentiated small group instruction from an experienced educator in the comfort of your own home.
If you’re looking for that’s effective in online learning environments or blending learning, then Dr. Tucker offers online courses on that as well. You can watch, pause, or rewind and go at your own pace whenever it’s convenient.
Become an Apple Teacher
Apple offers a free professional learning program to help you build your skills on Apple products like an iPad or Mac. You can start a self-paced learning experience through the apple teaching-learning center from anywhere and at any time. Essentially, it helps you build a strong foundation for using Apple products and apps like iMovie in the classroom.
It also guides you through skill-building tutorials and gives lesson plan ideas to help deepen student learning in the classroom. As an added bonus once you learn a new skill you can test these skills and get rewarded with certificates.
Earn a Google Certificate
Many school districts utilize Google Classroom, so you may be interested in gaining a better understanding of how to use Google tools in your classroom. For $10 you can take a 180-minute course and get a level one educator certificate that is valid for three years. For $25 you can take another 180-minute course and gain a level two certification that will demonstrate your advanced knowledge of technology integration skills, which is also valid for three years.
Become a Certified Google Trainer, Coach, or Innovator
If you’re ready to take your Google knowledge to the next level, you can apply to be a certified Google trainer, coach, or innovator. Once you’ve earned your level one and level two certificates, you can apply to become a trainer and train your fellow educators with your Google tools knowledge, which will also help you earn a secondary income.
You can also become a coach where you work one-on-one with educators to transform how schools use technology, or you can become a certified innovator and join like-minded educators to help solve challenges in education using technology.
Join or Start a Book Club
A great way to learn and keep connected with your fellow educators is to join or start your own book club. This is a great way to make time for professional development over the summer with little to no effort. Here are a few books by teachers for teachers:
- Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students
- An Educator’s Guide to STEAM: Engaging Students Using Real-World Problems
- Fostering Resilient Learners: Strategies for Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom
If you’re looking for something other than a virtual conference that can be done while poolside or beachside, then take out your iPad or phone and search TED education. TED talks are a great way to explore the latest thinking from educators on how to build a better school. Once you get down learning from the master’s in education, you can move on to TED-ED, where you can browse hundreds of animations and TED talks that will help inspire and spark your students’ interests.
You can also search through thousands of video-based lessons to save for the school year or if you’re feeling creative you can make your own or share your ideas with the world with a TED masterclass.
Use this time during the summer to hone your knowledge, and have fun with your professional development “summer school.” Think of professional development as investing in yourself, your students, and your career. Find something that truly inspires you, and through the process, you and your students will reap the benefits of your knowledge.