Six for Summer: Professional Learning Opportunities

Do you want to improve your practice but can’t find time during the school year? Check out these summer professional development opportunities to explore topics that interest you.

Teaching is, and always has been, a year-round job. Even when educators aren’t working during the summer months, they’re always planning for the year ahead. This hasn’t changed in the 21st century. In fact, teachers might work harder now than ever.

And while summer is the perfect time for teachers to relax and recharge their batteries, it also affords teachers with something that isn’t easy to come by during the school year — time for professional learning.

Whether you are a new teacher or a seasoned veteran, summer is a great time to explore innovative material, gather fresh ideas, learn how to do something new, or connect with educators around the world. There is always work to be done to improve your craft. Take advantage of your time “off” to do just that.

Here are some simple ways to make the most of your summer weeks so that you’re rested and inspired when the 2014-15 school year rolls around.

Tune in to the Teaching Channel

I’ve yet to find a Teaching Channel video that didn’t help me in some way. There’s no shortage of thought-provoking ideas within their vault of hundreds of videos. Twenty minutes spent browsing on a lazy summer Sunday will easily turn into a couple of hours. They’ve got something for everyone — all grades, all subjects. Here are a few great ones to get you started:

  • “Writing Higher Order Questions” — This is a great two-minute clip about pushing students’ thinking about texts in English language arts class.
  • “Think Alouds: Unpacking the Standards” — The Common Core State Standards will make more sense to you after watching this video.
  • “Learn by Leading” — Check out how one teacher empowers students to own their learning.

Just search by title to find these or use their search tool to locate videos on topics of interest to you.

Join the CTQ Collaboratory

Do you love taking part in meaningful discussions about education? Do you want to connect with like-minded educators from around the world? Are you ready to stop talking about changing education and DO something instead? The Center for Teaching Quality’s Collaboratory is for you.

Launched in spring 2013, the Collaboratory is more than just a free online network of teachers. It’s a place to learn about what’s important to you and your work. Featuring “labs” for learning about and discussing topics ranging from the Common Core and school redesign to innovative leadership and more, this network is growing by the day, and it’s poised to make an impact on the world of education. Join today — and tell your friends. You’ll be glad you did.

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