I have said it before. Professional Development is one of the key factors in becoming a better teacher. Period.
In the first few years of my teaching career, I struggled to be willing to go to conferences and workshops. It was so much work to be gone during the school year, and summer was my time. Then I was lucky enough to be invited in to join a Teaching American History grant which would include 40 middle school social studies teachers who would all work to get better. Long story short, I went in grudgingly and left advocating for all teachers to have a group like that. (Want to read more about our group...click HERE).
That experience was all it took for me to become full-on PD focused! I LOVE connecting with other teachers, learning, stealing ideas, and just being around other educators. There is something so powerful and uplifting when teacher get together with the desire to all get smarter!
Here's the thing.
It's summer again. And I am coming across conference after conference that I want to be a part of. I want to present and attend as many sessions as I can.
(Did you sense a "but" coming...)
My "season of life" makes it a little difficult to do those things right now.
By "season of life" I mean the family side... During the summer my husband and I enjoy 2 months of no daycare cost. And...we just added our 4th child in February. So... anyone out there want to take a stab at the cost of daycare for 4 kiddos? The savings is pretty substantial.
My point is... all those conferences and workshops I would love to go to just aren't going to happen this summer (or probably for the next few summers...). Summer is the time I try to make sure my kids don't have to compete with my job for my attention.
So...how do I continue to get PD during the summer?
I literally get it at my fingertips when I can. Facebook groups, Twitter, blogs. I read them during nap time when I'm laying on the recliner with the baby. I pin cool articles to read, lessons to check up on, and activities to try out while I'm binge watching Santa Clarita Diet before bed. I try to get what I can, when I can.
Seasons change and I know there will be a day when I can attend a Gilder Lehrman Seminar and put in a proposal to present at summer conferences. But for this season in my life I'll continue to make online connections and write down ideas I come across right at my fingertips!
How are you getting your PD in this summer?