Now is the time to start thinking about what professional development you will do over the summer as a teacher, especially as you may have to sign up for some courses soon, before they fill up (you know, the good ones that are cheap)! The summer is a great time to improve ourselves as teachers and there are many options with various levels of commitment. (Good news, for those of us just hanging on until March – I mean, April Break).
- Take an Additional Qualification (AQ) Course: these courses give you official qualifications in certain areas e.g. Special Education, Teacher Librarian, English Language Learners. They improve our knowledge and skills in these areas and require a longer time commitment and more money. (They can also help us climb up the pay scale, in which case the commitment in money may be moot in 6 months.)
- Go to a workshop or conference: these courses offer professional development and often some fun while not taking as much time or money. One great example is the ETFO Summer Academy – 3 day courses are offered at very reasonable prices. Spaces fill up fast!
- Reading Books: choose an area in which you would like to increase your skills and knowledge and then ask colleagues which book they recommend. People love to give their opinion! There are always good books coming out based on the latest research, with excellent ideas e.g. Joyful Math by Deanna McLennan