Why look for PD opportunities?
Professional development is an important part of being an educator. We need to connect with others in our field, find those with the values we seek, find those who teach the same content or grade levels that you do. PD allows us to learn from others through collective experience. We can teach others what our experiences have been. We can ask questions and seek out answers. As we become more confident in our practice, we can have conversations to learn from those with differing viewpoints.
Professional development can be a lifeline for teachers who are stressed or feeling overworked. Sounds odd that more work can help, right? Give it a chance! Learning a new method or technique is often just what a burned out teacher needs to regenerate and reinvigorate his or her practice. Overworked teachers can join forces with others to become more efficient and get those lifesaving tips and tricks.
Where Should You Look for Professional Development Experiences?
College credit is often offered for professional development courses. Not only will this propel you up the salary ladder, it will give you re-licensure credits (CEUs). Many colleges offer discounted teacher courses and even some online options.
Facebook, Twitter, and Slack have very active teacher groups. It can be overwhelming to follow every group so search around and participate in just a few groups to get started. Here are some of my favorite collaboration spaces:
#edchatv- anything and everything education
#ptchat – a parent and teacher forum
#blendchat – blended learning
#passiondriven – for those passionate about teaching
These entities are often given funding by states or local government so their professional development offerings are inexpensive but very relevant and aligned to national standards. Sometimes they can only offer courses with a minimum number of enrollees or only offer courses a few times a year. Be sure to check schedules and pricing before committing.
For-profit companies often offer professional development in hopes of luring in new customers. Take advantage of their free training programs that are often very specific to their tool or space and right on with the latest trends. You may dodge the sales pitch or find a tool that works perfectly for your classroom!
Edhero is a unique collaborative space for teachers. Share your lessons, sell your lessons and get rewarded with a clock hours certificate for time spent collaborating with others. It is a one-stop shop for teachers looking to ease their workload and be part of a professional learning community. I highly recommend this one!
- Shop around for professional development opportunities. Many come in online, blended or traditional in-person formats. Choose the modality that is best for you.
- Build up a portfolio of the work you do as you complete professional development courses and opportunities. Use this to help you advance in your current job and in your long-term career goals.
- Move out of your comfort zone. Choose professional development that is outside of your content area, grade level or technical expertise to push yourself to learn new things. Get ahead of the crowd and learn something that has not been deployed in your school or district yet.
- Involve your students! Ask your students what they want to see improved in your class, school or district then seek out solutions. Some professional development opportunities include students on panels or projects. Attend these and listen. Students have insight that we all can learn from.
- Be aware of the district or school rules about student data in digital tools. Today’s educational focus is largely on technology integration. As you play with new tools be cognizant of regulations on keeping student data private. Most districts or schools have a list of approved providers. Get permission to use any additional tools with students before purchasing or getting too attached to the tool.
- Some teacher professional development is free but don’t let a fee deter you if you will get valuable information from the training. Keep in mind that, as an educator, you can save your receipts and write off these expenses on your taxes. Consult a tax professional for advice on educator deductions.
Professional development opportunities are a great way to connect with other educators. Whether you are looking to avoid burn out, further your practice or advance in your career, there is something for everyone in the many offerings available.
EdHero provides you an opportunity to collaborate to create rich lessons, units, and courses; earn professional development certificates and sell your materials through your own store. Explore the marketplace, team up with teachers across the globe, advance your teaching skills, change kids’ lives and earn extra money – all in one place!
The Pre-launch excitement that we were eager to present to all the teachers and home-school parents is finally here. Join the group of first 100 Educational Material Authors today and receives all our Pre-Launch benefits. Reserve your spot in the first 100 today. You’ll be glad you did!
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