Teaching for Tomorrow

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Written by topteachingjobs

Maintaining certification as a teacher and educator is probably one of the most annoying and difficult tasks of the career path, but can be beneficial if followed with a sense of usefulness and dedication. While in school, there are many opportunities available to working toward certification, but choosing the ones you are interested in is a sure way of turning the tables on boredom and coming out on top. By paying attention to what opportunities cross your path, and only signing up for the ones with the greatest benefit in conjunction with the time they take up, you can not only check off the boxes on your certification sheet but also come back to your classroom with actual knowledge that will improve your teaching style and help your students.
Read the Material
Understand that the agencies offering professional development that will be applied to your re-certification are for-profit agencies for the most part, and having you sign up for their seminars and retreats is how they make money. When you receive information from these people, read the fine lines for what exactly you are getting for your PD dollars. You may be going off on a wonderful retreat to discuss reading aptitude levels, but you might also only be gaining 2 hours of PD time for a long weekend away. The benefit/cost ratio is nowhere near what it should be in this case, and it will not be worth your time.
The material might instead offer a great number of hours for you to put toward your professional development, but these will be earned by sitting in a classroom for 8 hours a day watching power point slides and listening to a pre-recorded lecturer talk about everything except what you can actually use back in the classroom.
Share the Experience
One sure fire way to get the most out of your PD time is to share the experience with a fellow instructor. This allows you a sounding board for questions and reflection when the certification is over, and someone with whom to commiserate should you not feel the course was all it was cracked up to be. Having a peer in the same boat as you will allow you to also share notes, and to keep you sane when the talking heads start to promote their own products as the solution to the before unrealized difficulties they just told you about – so you would find it beneficial to buy whatever product they are selling.

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