Honing Your Craft With Summer Training
Despite the fact that I enjoy my profession as an instructor, there are times when I wonder, “How many days until summer vacation?” For some instructors, summer is a time when they may devote their attention to everything other than their classroom. Those who are interested in exploring intriguing and innovative parts of our work can take advantage of the summer months as a rare chance.
In addition, there are several possibilities for professional development for instructors over the summer months.
Summer Seminars at the National Endowment for the Humanities: The National Endowment for the Humanities provides a variety of summer seminars, ranging from examining Jewish communities in the South to analysing immigrant literature in Florida. The National Endowment for the Humanities provides stipends to assist with travel and living expenses.
The Re-enchanting Nature seminar I attended took place in Helena, Montana, over the course of two weeks during which we trekked and lived in a cabin while studying texts on nature and conservation, as well as lessons from poets and Native American educators. We also went on an exploratory trip to Yellowstone National Park, which lasted a week. In addition to helping me better grasp the power of storytelling in a variety of situations, the experience inspired me to work more closely with our scientific teachers in the future.
This three-day intensive course offered by The Opal School (located in Portland, Oregon) considers creative and cognitive capacities. It includes hands-on workshops by master teachers, time to collaborate with colleagues from across the country, and the opportunity to delve deeply into cognitive and inquiry-based research. This reinforced the reality that inquiry-based education extends well beyond the classroom and is the foundation for establishing a society characterised by ingenuity as well as fairness, collaboration, and empathy, as one teacher put it. There are several scholarship alternatives available to assist with the financial burden.
Workshop at Yellowstone National Park for Teachers: This STEAM programme provides teachers with the opportunity to talk about, develop, and experiment with new and cross-curricular ways to incorporate science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics education into their classrooms. It all takes place against the breathtaking backdrop of Yellowstone National Park, which is truly unforgettable. Teachers are responsible for their own travel expenses to Yellowstone, and all meals and accommodations are provided.
IN THE UNITED STATES
Faculty members of the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program: Fulbright is a well-known name in the world of higher education. This Fulbright programme offers a variety of collaborative workshops in locations all around the world. The year-long programme is primarily focused on professional growth, with travel components in the spring and summer seasons. The costs of the programme have been met.
NOAA Teacher at Sea: Teachers often get the impression that they are captaining a ship; now they have the opportunity to really live on a ship. The Teacher at Sea programme takes in educators for a period ranging from two weeks to one month. During their time on board, teachers assist with basic responsibilities, write three or four logs per week describing their experiences, and share their experiences and findings with others in some form. As one teacher, Sam Northern, explained, “I received valuable real-world research experience by collaborating with scientists on the Atlantic Ocean.” Specifically, we were tasked with investigating the hydrographic and planktonic components of the Northeastern United States Continental Shelf. It was during this 10-day expedition that I gained a better grasp of the world’s seas, marine biology, and the methods used by real government field scientists, which I was able to pass on to my pupils.” The cost is covered by NOAA.
It is possible to live in Germany for two weeks as part of the Goethe-Transatlantic Institut’s Outreach Program, which permits K–12 teachers to network with German educators on curriculum development, STEM education, and social studies. It also provides educators with the opportunity to learn about and comprehend German culture. The expenses have been covered.
In conjunction with Global Education Benchmark Group, the World Leadership School’s Summer Symposia programme offers “a unique opportunity for schools to take a deep dive into Mexico/U.S. border relations and the specifics of immigration practises in the United States…. as well as an opportunity to design, plan, and prepare applicable lessons to use in the classroom in the following school year.” The cost of the curriculum ranges from $1,100 to $3,080, although there are scholarships available.
TRAVELING AND WORKING OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY
An international school can be a good alternative for educators who want to spend the summer working in a different country. A teaching position in another country combines the ability to travel with the potential to improve your teaching skills in a foreign environment. Websites such as GoAbroad and GoOverseas can assist you in finding opportunities as well as answering key practical questions about things like visas and other travel requirements.
It is possible that building your own opportunity is the greatest alternative for teachers who require flexibility.
It is the mission of the Fund for Teachers to provide financial assistance to educators who wish to design and engage in self-guided study programmes in the United States and other parts of the world. One of the teachers, Sarah Milianta-Laffin, travelled to Greece and Crete to participate in a professional development course. “My 2013 fellowship goal was to shift my project-based learning emphasis from STEM to STEAM,” she explained. When we were walking around a neighbourhood, we were given interesting homework assignments such as studying locals in cafes or shooting interesting doors. The seminar was the first I’d ever taken that wasn’t just “sit and gain professional development,” as the saying goes. Milianta-Laffin also pointed out that “a single teacher fellow can request [a grant of] up to $5,000, and a team of two or more teachers can request [a grant of] up to $10,000.”
Teachers can use Teaching Tolerance’s self-guided learning programme to create their own professional development by confronting history and our own selves. The programme offers engaging webinars and on-demand learning, and it also has a self-guided learning programme that allows teachers to create their own professional development. Teachers who are unable to travel or who are going on their own but wish to spend some of their trip time for professional development may find these possibilities to be ideal.
Check out this list of alternative possibilities, as well as the opportunities listed at Teaching Traveling for more information.
For the duration of the school year, it is critical that we remain engaged and anchored in our classrooms and the communities in which we work. The beauty of summer is that it allows us to step out of the spaces we have worked so hard to create, allowing us to recharge and nurture ourselves in the process.