3 Tools for Teacher Professional Development This Summer
The school year has officially drawn to a close. Woo! That means teachers everywhere are basking in the sun, galavanting around Europe, and reading piles of romance and mystery novels, right? WRONG!
Like those in any other profession, teachers would love to take two months off to relax, but there is work to be done! Work you say? What kind of work could teachers possibly be doing when students aren't in school?
Teachers spend the majority of their days working with students, but there are so many other things a teacher does besides work with students! Did you know that on average, a teacher spends five hours each week grading papers outside of regular school hours?
According to a study by the National Center of Educational Statistics, teachers spend an average of 8.6 hours per week working on school related activities outside of school hours without students present. These activities include: grading papers, meetings, lesson planning, etc. Teachers spend an additional 3.6 hours outside of school hours doing activities with students such as chaperoning school dances, attending school performances, coaching sports, etc.
During the school year, teachers are so busy working much longer than a traditional 40 hour work week that they have very little time for teacher professional development. Professional Development is the number one education-related activity teachers spend time on over the summer according to a survey done on Reddit.
Many schools offer professional development courses for teachers while others recommend offsite professional development programs. In order to become more effective teachers and increase their pay, many teachers work towards a masters degree during their summer.
We know that professional development courses are exhausting, which is why we have put together this handy dandy list of learn-at-your-own-pace professional development lessons and activities that can be done this summer or even during the regular school year.
- PBS TeacherLine offers 12 three-hour self-paced courses. Courses range from a deeper look at math and science concepts to developing understanding of the role that problem solving serves in the classroom. Take a class and apply the lessons in the classroom immediately!
- CK-12 offers thousands of core-aligned bite-sized concepts and customizeable Flexbooks for teachers to develop more effective lesson plans and share content with students directly through groups. Search thousands of math and science concepts in a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, videos, text, simulations and real world applications. Flexbooks can be downloaded to mobile devices, printed out and shared for use both inside and outside the classroom. Develop your own Flexbooks this summer!
- Education conferences offer the opportunity to discover organizations, tools and techniques you've never heard of. Attend a conference near you to grow your education network, improve your effectiveness and sit in on lectures by influential and innovative educators. Click here for a list of education conferences.
If you're interested, here is the complete list of what teachers admitted to spending their time doing over their so-called summer break:
- Teacher professional development
- Teaching summer school
- Lesson planning
- Planning and decorating their classroom
- Reading education related books
- Tutoring students
- Curriculum re-evaluation and adjustments
- Aligning curriculums to standards
- Taking educational trips
- Browsing Pinterest for classroom ideas
- Spending time with family
- Catch up on video games, sleep, TV, movies, etc.
We'd love to know what you do for teacher professional development over the summer! Weigh in in the comments section below!