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Improve Your Teaching Skills this Summer

Special Ed Resource Room

I am going to admit, I have a great distaste for the saying, "The best things about being a teacher are June, July and August."   To me that phrase means, "I do not like teaching,"  when in reality, I LOVE teaching!  

I am one of those people who loves my job and is always trying to find a way to better my skills.  The summer is the prime time to do that.  There are tons of opportunities everywhere to learn over the summer.  Here are a few ideas that will inspire you to improve your teaching skills during the heat:

Teacher Blogs:  Teacher blogs are huge right now and there are tons of excellent ones out there.   I have been able to use so many ideas that I have read about on another teacher’s blog.  Some I would suggest starting with are collaboration blogs such as A Special Sparkle and Teaching Blog Addict .   The Autism Helper has been doing a summer series on setting up a special education classroom.

Your Local Library:  I love going to my local library in the summer.   It is cool (Bring on the AC!), there are some toys (which keep the kids busy) and, of course, tons of great books.  I can always find a book about teaching, learning disabilities, autism, etc.  

Online Book Studies: Some of those blogs I was talking about above also run book studies over the summer.  A few bloggers get together and read a book. The bloggers each take different days to discuss various chapters.  Readers can also contribute by adding comments. 

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Your Local PBS Affiliate & PBS Teacherline:  Our local PBS affiliate offers some great training for teachers year-round. For example, I just received an email about using GIS in the classroom.  It is a two-day training and is FREE (that even includes lunch)!  PBS Teacherline offers online courses year round, price varies, but certain groups can sometimes get a class for free.  I have taken three classes through Teacherline and have always been impressed.  I even was able to receive graduate credit for one of them.

Professional Organizations:  I am a member of CEC and really enjoy reading the articles that are relevant to me online and in the journals.   The summer gives me a perfect opportunity to check out what I have missed all school year and gain some insights on various topics in special education.

You can find lots of other great resources on the web for professional learning.  Here are a few more:

Pearson School Systems Blog

Teachhub’s Guide to Professional Development

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) Guide to Learning Opportunities