Friday Five: Top Five Summer Professional Development Activities

Summer is coming, and that means time for teachers to relax in the sun and spend their massive salaries while eating bonbons and taking extravagant vacations. Ha! You all know the truth–that summer is the time for us to rework curriculum, find new ideas, and take part in professional development.  There are many valuable ways to energize for the next school year. Here are our top five–what’s one you suggest?

1.NEH Summer Seminars and Workshops.  I know the deadline for these has passed, but attending one of these in Michigan about African Literature was a powerful experience for me as a teacher and a learner.  I still keep in touch with people I met at this eight years ago.  You should consider applying to one of these for the summer of 2015.  I originally heard about this opportunity from a colleague and every fall when they are announced, I eagerly comb through the options posted: http://www.neh.gov/files/divisions/education/NEH-Division-Education-Summer-Programs-2014.pdf 

2. Attend a Conference. While NCTE’s Annual Convention doesn’t occur until July, they host other conferences like the CEL Institute on Critical Issues.  This year, the focus is:  Assessment, July 17-19, 2014, at Elmhust College, in Elmhurst, Illinois http://www.ncte.org/cel/institute.  There’s also the Annual AP Conference in Philadelphia July 9-13 at the Convention Center. http://apac.collegeboard.org/registration

3. Lunch with Colleagues. During the year, social events can be ways for us to vent and work through current issues with students and curriculum.  But during the summer, social events can energize us and allow us to launch into the fall with exciting new ideas. There’s nothing better than meeting for lunch on a weekday with another teacher and having one of those conversations that blossoms into an idea for a new unit or new activity.  

4.Twitter. While we may be out of the classroom in the summer, twitter can allow us to connect with others all year round, by reading through twitter talks, following hashtags, or following other educators or organizations.

*Top 50 Elementary Teachers on Twitter  

*Project Based Learning Teachers 

*Twitter for Teachers: Best Tweeters & Hashtags for Educators 

*PCTELA on Twitter

5. Read all the books! All year students, teachers, and friends recommend books to me.  The Summer is my opportunity to catch up on my reading.  Some weeks I’ll read a book a day if I can.  Goodreads.com can be a great website to track books and see what friends are reading. I also have a booklist for my students and a list of books I’ve taught and books I want to read. 

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posted by Kate, VP Secondary k1a9t7e5 @ gmail

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Friday Five: Top Five Summer Professional Development Activities

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