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The teaching profession is constantly evolving. More so now than ever before. Similarly, teachers must continue to learn, evolving their practice to meet student needs. Based on the education landscape changes that have occurred over the past year, we’ve updated a previous blog post to include more information on professional development for teachers.

Summer is here and teachers finally have a moment to breathe. A well-deserved opportunity to rest and recharge, after what was likely the most chaotic school year of their careers. After taking a moment to reflect on the past year, and savor time with family, teachers will inevitably begin looking to the 2021-2022 school year. Without a doubt, it will hold challenges. But teachers are always ready to overcome hurdles that stand between them and the education of their students. To help, we’ve collected a list of free and low-cost PD options for teachers. 

All listed resources incorporate flexible learning timelines, so teachers can use them while still making time to enjoy summer. Best of all, these resources are online so you can work through them from the comfort of your home. Professional development for teachers covers every conceivable topic. See the list below, and add your favorites in the comments!

Certification Add-Ons

Learn more here.

First, schools are going to be short staffed this year. The teacher shortage is a national problem exacerbated by the pandemic. Therefore, teachers who do return to the classroom need to be flexible and able to flow to shortage areas. One of the fastest ways you can offer more support to your school is to add another certification area. For example, if you’re an English teacher but you can demonstrate competency in teaching math, adding math certification ensures that your school will be able to decide where you’re most needed. 

For current teachers looking to add an endorsement area, this is the best time to make that move. Completely online, flexible, and affordable, American Board allows career teachers to add an endorsement area certificate in as little as one month.

Teachers home for summer, paraprofessionals, and substitutes should use this time at home to beef up their teaching credentials. Adding a secondary endorsement or gaining full certification will make you more fluid in your role for the upcoming school year.

Social-Emotional Learning

Learn more here.

Secondly, students will be returning to school with many questions. Kids can easily adapt, sometimes better than adults! But nonetheless, younger students may have questions about the pandemic and how it continues to impact society. Similarly, older students will have questions about how current social issues affect them. Guiding students with social and emotional learning (SEL) will be crucial to their success in years to come. 

CASEL, a leading resource for SEL understanding identifies the five core competencies of social and emotional learning as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. The website below includes district-level resources and school guide for incorporating SEL.

The Whole Child

Learn more here.

Similar to SEL, the Whole Child Approach recognizes that successful learners are not just academically focused, they must be health, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. 

ASCD, a pioneer of the Whole Child Approach, offers resources to help districts and teachers ensure the moves they are making to support the Whole Child actually bring results. 

Transition To Teaching

Learn more here.

If your professional background is in another field but you’ve always considered teaching, you can quickly put your knowledge and experience to work earning your certification through American Board. Teachers have never been more needed than they are right now. Schools are already trying to piece together how they will have enough teachers to open in-person this fall. By earning your teacher certification now, you’ll be able to step up to that need and step in to one of those open positions. Your local schools and students will thank you!

Remember, teaching is a stable career that allows you to make a positive impact on your students every single day. As a teacher, you can boost your community by inspiring a love of learning in future generations. And because this blog is being published the first week of summer, it is worth noting that teachers still have summers off to spend with family!

Teaching Community

Learn more here.  

Lastly, teachers can learn from their peers by watching the classroom-teaching videos available on the Teaching Channel. Additionally, teachers can share their own lessons and find support and community in an active online forum. 

Conferences

Summer conferences for teachers are back! After moving online during the pandemic, most education organization are hosting in-person professional development for teachers this summer. A quick online search shows literally hundreds of results. And because organizations have spent the last year planning to return to in-person, these conferences are sure to be invigorating and inspiring!

Find a bonus resource here

Whether you’re looking for a way to recharge your teacher battery or rediscover your love for the classroom, professional development for teachers is a booming industry. You’ll always be able to find resources that have information for your specific classroom needs.

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