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Summer is here and teachers finally have a moment to breathe after what was probably 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 2020-2021 school year. Without a doubt, it will hold many 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 resources covering professional development 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

First, schools will be incredibly short-staffed heading into the school year because many teachers won’t be returning this fall. Teachers who do return will 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 a math teacher but you can demonstrate competency in teaching English, 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 once schools reopen. Completing American Board’s program can ensure you’re ready to help schools and students meet their needs. 

Learn more here.

Transition To Teaching

Secondly, now is the time to become a teacher. 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 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!

Learn more here.

Social-Emotional Learning

Thirdly, students will be returning to school with so many questions. Younger students will struggle to understand COVID-19 and how it has impacted 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.

Learn more here.

The Whole Child

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.

Learn more here.

Teaching Community

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.

Learn more here.  

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. Feel free to add your favorites in the comments below!

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