Monday, September 23, 2013

5 Professional Development Resources for Teachers College Students and Alumni

Editor's Note: This is part 3 of a 4 part series where we discuss professional development opportunities for each college at WGU. Stay tuned as we discuss resources for IT next week. See part 1 for Business College resources and part 2 for Health Professions College resources.

Teacher Professional Development is a necessity for any teacher who wants to recertify in the teaching profession.  Most states will require approximately 120 hours of professional development for re-licensure and most states allow teachers five years to complete these hours. 

Teachers can obtain professional development points (or CEU's - continuing education units) through the channels listed below.  The school district will maintain a record of those points, but it is always a good idea for the teacher to keep copies of their CEUs, professional development points, and certificates from conferences in the event a school loses them. The school or state certification officer will need a record of all professional development in order to re-certify the teacher.  Some school districts will pay for teachers to become members of an organization, so teachers should investigate that with their professional development funds.

Here are 5 ways for teachers to attain professional development CEUs:

- Complete additional college coursework in Education 

- Take advantage of on-site, school/district sponsored professional development offered after school or during planning periods

- Attend large educational conferences such as National Education Association or ASCD

- Attend regional conferences for a specific discipline (e.g. special education, social studies, science, math). A list of specific organizations and conferences can be found here. 

- Engage in online professional development opportunities. Some might have a cost associated with them, while others are free. It is the teacher's responsibility to make sure that their school district will accept these types of CEU's as professional development hours. Some reputable websites for online professional development include: 
a)      PBS Teacherline
c)      SimpleK12

 Note: A paid membership is required in both “b” and “c” for full access to their workshop calendar, however both offer some “free” sessions each week for non-members.

WGU students and alumni can find additional resources for professional development on our website. Please add more ideas or resources for professional development in the comments below.

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