By Teachers, For Teachers
If you’re looking to seek advancement in your career, then you can benefit from updating your knowledge by enrolling in professional development courses. There are many advantages to updating your education. Not only can professional development courses enhance your current skills, but they can also open you up to new opportunities in your own field, or other professional areas or fields. While most educators like to enroll in classes during the fall or winter months, the summertime is actually the best time to enroll in professional development courses. Here’s why.
One benefit of enrolling in classes during the summer months is that you can take them whenever it’s convenient for you. When you take classes in the spring, fall, or winter months, you have to do them around your work schedule. However, when you take classes during the summer, you have the convenience of taking them anytime you wish. Whether you’re working on completing your master’s degree or just taking a few refresher courses, when you do them in the summertime, especially when you do them online, you can do your coursework from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.
It’s a no-brainer that during the summer you’ll have more time for yourself. Instead of staying up late during school nights and spending your weekends cramming for tests, the summer gives you more time to concentrate on your homework and studies. Even if you choose to tutor or teach summer school, you’ll still have more time to concentrate on your classes than if you took them in the fall. When you enroll in a professional development class in the fall, you’ll be so busy with getting back into the swing of things at school that you may not get the chance to reap all of the benefits of your classes, or you may even neglect your studies. Therefore, the summer months make the best time to take professional development classes.
It’s almost always more affordable to take classes during the summer months than any other time during the school year, especially if they are online. You won’t have to deal with commuting back and forth to campus, and you’ll also save on childcare costs if you decide to complete your courses from home. Also, many online colleges have low, flat-rate tuition costs, and some even have shorter sessions, which makes it cheaper. Additionally, when you go to a traditional campus, extra fees are wrapped up into your tuition, like security and athletics costs that don’t necessarily apply to education classes. However, when you take online courses, they will not have any of these added fees, therefore making it a more affordable option.
Just as your students need to continue learning during the summer months so they won’t lose any knowledge learned, you too can keep your learning going by taking courses in the summer. The summertime is the perfect time to learn, because you’ll have more time to digest everything that you are learning. All of the new theories, concepts, and teaching strategies will be easier to learn because you’ll have the extra time to devote to school. And the more knowledge you gain in the summer, the less knowledge you lose to summer brain drain.
Another added benefit of enrolling in professional development courses during the summer is that it will help you become a more effective teacher. Most teachers participate in workshop training sessions during the school year. While these short sessions are a great way to learn new approaches, they often don’t change a teacher’s practice. However, when you learn new approaches over the summer, you’ll have more time to understand what you are learning, and come the fall, you will be able to implement what you’ve learned in your classroom. For example, if you’re taking a theories class, you can implement Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory, Jean Piaget’s constructivism theory, Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy theory or Lev Vygotsky’s scaffolding theory into your lessons. Or, if you are learning about new educational technologies, you will know how to implement them as well.
Working on your professional development courses this summer is a great way to advance your career, further your skills, or learn something new that may take your career into whole new direction. Take the time to research what types of courses you want to take and decide if online classes are a better option for you.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a master’s of science in education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the elementary education expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.