Summer break means many things for teachers. Summer break is also a time for teachers to recharge and provides a much needed and well-deserved respite from the classroom grind — no papers to grade, no calls from parents, no staff meetings or students to tend to. But it’s not all rest and relaxation.
In addition to re-energizing their passion, educators also typically use the summer break to hone their craft. Oft times, passionate educators enroll in extensive professional development programs, reflect on the previous school year and work to improve their methodology for the start of school in the fall.
If you’re looking for a few ways to step up your teaching game next fall? Here’s a list of professional development (PD) resources to get you going this summer.
77 Web-Based Resources for Teachers
Education consultant and blogger Richard Byrne has compiled a long list of recommended web resources for teachers. You’re probably familiar with some resources on his list, such as Google’s family of education sites and Edublogs, the popular social media site for teachers. More obscure resources to try include TodaysMeet, an online tool that lets teachers field questions from students about a lesson after the fact, and “Own Your Space,” a free ebook written to help students learn to protect themselves and their personal information online. Check out these and the 73 other resources on Byrne’s summer list.
ASCD Conferences and Workshops
Looking for somewhere to go this summer? Who needs a trip to the beach when there are so many educational conferences and workshops to attend? I kid, of course. Relax. Recharge. And when you get back, consider some of the workshops, online courses and other resources offered through ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development). ASCD offers professional development for educators on a range of topics, from relevant articles and videos about the 21st-century skills gap to online courses about the impending Common Core State Standards to workshops and conferences for continuing professional development. The site features a combination of free and paid resources.
Edutopia Blogs and Other PD Resources
Edutopia, the nonprofit educational publisher supported by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, features a Summer Professional Development Blog Series. The resource includes a series of online teacher boot camps that aim to help teachers integrate the latest social learning tools into the classroom. Learn to incorporate Wordle, the web-based tool for creating word clouds in reading and vocabulary lessons, or Storybird, the interactive online story publisher, into existing lesson plans. Want more? The Edutopia site also contains resources for improved project-based learning, literacy, and a primer on compiling digital resources in the classroom.
Expand Your Worldview Through the Peace Corps
With an eye toward global education, the Peace Corps features a vast collection of professional development resources for educators. Check out the latest in online PD from top universities and associations, research global education certificate and degree opportunities, network with colleagues in the United States and elsewhere through educator-specific forums, and find new ways to see the world in the service of K–12 education.