Harry Wong
Jun 2017
Vol 14 No 2

Free Alternative Ways To Fulfill Professional Development Requirements

By Kathy Roberson

We’ve all been there…  the mandatory workshops arranged by our school districts in which the speakers are talking about subject matter that has absolutely no relevancy to our current teaching assignment. Many of us have no interest in the subject being addressed but we are forced to attend.  In those situations, it’s a torturous 6 hours we have to endure in order to get our daily pay and obtain the all powerful “evidence of completion” paper to add to our file for certificate renewal.

Then there are the voluntary workshops offered during the school year (usually on a Saturday) or the summer workshops that your Regional Office may arrange.  Both can offer a little more choice in your particular interests and if you are lucky, your school district may pick up the tab for you to attend.  In many cases, the budget in some school districts is being cut in this area, due to monetary constraints.

So how can you fulfill some of your Professional Development requirements and still make it interesting for you with no out of pocket costs?  Here are a few ways that you might want to consider:

  • Online workshops. If you do a little research on the Internet there are many sources available that offer free Professional Development workshops and presentations online that count toward certificate renewal.  These are so convenient as you can attend at any time and finish at your own pace.  Most providers offer a wide variety of subjects you can choose from and most States will count these toward continuing professional units.
  • Informal peer-to-peer coaching.  This is a good way to pick up some needed credits and expand your knowledge of another’s professional teaching methodologies during your regular work hours.  Check your State’s options and see if this one is available.
  • Volunteer to be on a School District Committee.  Most school districts ask for volunteers to serve on a variety of committees throughout the school year.  Some of these include textbook choice, curriculum modification, scheduling and school improvement.  By attending 6 meetings serving on a committee of your choice, you could possibly pick up 11 CPDUs.
  • Conduct a study of your own teaching methodologies. Have you wanted to try a new approach to your teaching methods?  If you keep track of your study for one quarter, examine its strengths and weakness and how the experience has helped you in your future teaching (good or bad), this experience might count in your state.
  • Publish a local column. Some states give credit for publishing a local column on education.  Check with a local newspaper, a free publishing company or other sources to see if they would be interested in taking your articles.  Write about educational issues in your school district, teaching in general or review teaching materials that you have used in your own classroom.
  • Take a vacation. Yes, this costs money, but if you’re going to take a vacation anyway, why not have it count toward your professional development.  Choose a location that pertains to what you teach, make an agenda of how it will benefit your classroom, have it approved and get credit!
    There are many ways to receive credit toward your certificate renewal by doing things you are interested in or would like to try, with little or no out of pocket expense.  As professionals, we always do what we have to do… but sometimes it nice to know that we do have a choice on how it gets done.  By having an opportunity to choose activities that actually pertain to your personal teaching situation, you will not only enrich your own life, but also be able to take that knowledge back into the classroom to enhance the education and lives of your students.


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This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 and is filed under Kathy Roberson, September 2009. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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