Those stepping into the adventure of teaching should expect that professional development requirements come with the journey. The purpose of professional development is to keep certified educators current on new instructional tools, strategies, and research. Teacher PD can cover a variety of topics such as educational technology, classroom management, subject-specific research and strategies, and curriculum tools and applications. PD requirements differ from state-to-state, so it is best to regularly check state teacher credentialing websites for up-to-date information.
For teachers who desire to meet the highest standards of certification, check into the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. According to its website, the “National Board Certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide.” Many states offer additional pay for teachers who earn National Board Certification, and depending on the state, the reward is higher in places where there is a teacher shortage.
There are a number of ways to earn PD hours including through online courses, conferences, and workshops. Some states even accept new teacher mentorship roles for PD credits, so take the time to do the research. Although they require an investment of time and energy, PD provides the information and resources needed to keep instructional practice fresh and relevant. Oftentimes, districts and schools will allocate funding and time to professional development over the school year. This is a great opportunity to earn hours while collaborating with colleagues on how best to put new ideas into practice.
With a push to become more proficient with distance teaching, companies are offering courses focused on helping teachers manage multiple learning environments — in-class, remote, hybrid. For example, Boxlight offers Teacher Training Certification courses for their software products and Labdisc portable STEM lab. EOS Education, a subsidiary of Boxlight, offers virtual and in-person training workshops on an array of topics such as using Microsoft 365 and G Suite (Google Classroom) tools, and best practices for remote and hybrid learning. For a sampling of the Boxlight-EOS online programs, try one of the free courses that were made available when schools closed in the spring: Online Professional Development Courses. You can also view their Distance Teaching Webinar Series which helped teachers quickly implement valuable Microsoft and G Suite tools: Extend Learning Beyond the Classroom.
While the thought of adding professional development to an already full plate does not seem incredibly enticing, courses that are self-paced, include knowledge checks, and help build confidence are worth the time and effort. As you progress in your teaching career, the knowledge and skills you gain will help you set an example for your colleagues and above all, encourage your students to also become lifelong learners.
Boxlight-EOS has designed the Platform Essentials (PE) Course for both teachers and students to get acquainted with all that Chromebooks and G Suite OR Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 have to offer. Each course includes 7 modules with ready-to-use materials and resources for teachers and students. For more information, or if you would like to enroll, go to https://pd.boxlight.com/collections/fall-2020.
To receive 50% off, use the code FALLPE20.