Professional development can be an invaluable tool for teachers, but finding time to complete it can often pose a challenge. If you're struggling to fit professional development into your hectic schedule, check out the following pointers.
Time for Professional Development
Being a teacher, you most likely understand how important professional development can be to your position. Professional development keeps you up-to-date on the latest trends and issues in education, allows you to collaborate with other teachers and provides specialized training in several popular topics. Professional development basically has one overarching goal in mind: to help you improve—and continue to improve—as an educator.
Here's the thing: professional development takes time, which is something that's more precious than gold to many busy teachers with seemingly nonstop schedules. If you feel like there aren't enough hours in the day to complete your professional development requirements, try not to get discouraged. You have options.
Attend a One-Day Workshop
While it can be tricky to find time for a professional development conference or seminar that lasts any longer than a day, one-day workshops exist and can be much more accommodating of teachers. Many school districts offer these short-term learning opportunities on teacher in-service days, referred to as ''professional development days'' more frequently as of late. How fitting!
There are also many other one-day options available through various educational foundations. A quick online search can provide you with information about opportunities in your area. Even if a one-day event happens to fall on a school day, a substitute teacher can take your place (without too much disruption to your normal teaching routine) while you're off learning.
Use the Summer to Your Advantage
With all of the tasks that teachers are responsible for throughout the busy school year, sometimes it's just not feasible to squeeze in professional development, especially if you have a family who demands your time on the weekends. Thankfully, there are several summer-based learning opportunities—so take advantage of them!
Although you might not want to take time away from your well-deserved summer vacation, just think how accomplished you'll feel after you get your professional development requirements taken care of before school begins again! Keep in mind that summer learning opportunities may vary depending on your location, so check with your state's board of education or your school district for more information.
Utilize Online Learning Resources
Two words: online learning. If you want to find a huge selection of professional development opportunities for teachers, both formal and informal, look no further than the Internet. These days, nearly every type of professional development activity is available right at your fingertips. This is advantageous because many options can be completed at your convenience rather than at a set time, meaning that you can learn even during short breaks throughout the day.
Here are a couple of possibilities:
- Reasonably priced online professional development courses that can fulfill your continuing education units
- Free online webinars
Make It Happen
As you just read here, there are several ways for even the busiest of teachers to find time for professional development. From now on, you should be able to fit this important part of teaching into your busy schedule without much trouble.
Do you wish you had a way to complete professional development requirements from the comfort of your own home? Check out Study.com's Teacher Edition, which gives you access to a large library of professional development courses as well as thousands of other courses in all subjects.