States require this coursework so that teachers will continue developing professionally. The field of education is continually changing with new theories and new approaches to making information more accessible to students. By taking courses through continuing education programs, teachers are exposed to current theories and approaches that they can use in their classrooms.
Most often, teachers need approval from their schools before enrolling in continuing educational programs for licensure renewal. There are both on-campus and online options for teachers to meet flexibility needs. There are also options to specialize in special education, school librarianship, deaf education and school business official.
Even though teachers may find making time to take continuing education courses challenging, it is beneficial for them. Through these courses they are exposed to different methods of teaching and preparation, thus, increasing their knowledge base to draw from when they're in the classroom. When they are choosing courses, they can choose courses that address their specific interests, helping them take advantage of this education opportunity.
Continuing Education Certificates
The subjects that continuing education programs provide depend on the college or university in which teachers choose to enroll and may include advanced training in specific subject areas, as well as covering topics such as classroom management, technology, and test-taking strategies.
There are many more courses available. Many colleges and universities cover similar topics because the courses are designed to address current issues that teachers are facing in the classroom. By learning how to manage these types of issues, officials are hoping that it increases the effectiveness of teachers in the classroom. Courses available may include:
- Improving your students' test taking skills
- Using Microsoft Word in the classroom
- Advanced classroom management
- Effects of stress, trauma, and violence on student learning
- Online teaching
Master's Degree Programs
Many continuing education classes are offered as graduate-level courses, which may be applied to earning a Master of Education degree. Earning this degree not only improves a teacher's educational skills, but it may lead to pay increases and greater job security. Most teachers seeking to specialize in an area such as special education, gifted and talented education, or school administration will require a master's degree. Courses for these specialties may include:
- Applied behavior analysis
- Transition strategies for students with disabilities
- Assessment of children and youth who are gifted, creative or talented
- Teaching and learning in diverse classrooms
- Recognizing, assessing and supporting quality instructional practicum
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The BLS states that secondary school teachers make a mean annual wage of $57,200 as of May 2015. The BLS also states that from 2014-2024, the job outlook for post-secondary teachers is expected to grow 13%, 6% for high school teachers and 6% for kindergarten and elementary teachers.
Teachers seeking professional development and/or licensure renewal may seek continuing education certificate programs or master's degrees. Students in these programs take a variety of courses aimed at classroom management and student learning.