In 17 months, both of my kids will be in school full-time. I let my teaching certificate lapse in 2009 when I had a newborn and had not done a lick of my required 30-hours per year of professional development. I think I can renew my inactive certificate with 150 hours of professional development, so I’m starting that now. If I complete ten hours a month, or about one course per week, between now and then, I can be up-to-date before Elizabeth starts kindergarten and spend some time that year subbing if I want. Then I can figure out what to do from there — teach full-time, continue sporadic freelancing, teach part-time, work at Sephora and spend my whole paycheck there…
Regardless, if you don’t actually know me — surprise! I’m a planner. So with 17 months until I have my days free, I need to make a plan. I have found lots of options for FREE online professional development and have already completed four hours. I plan to move into the paid online options when I exhaust the relevant and free online options, and then I can sign up for some actual seminars and conferences to finish off the 150 hours.
Back when I taught 8th grade in a 6-8 middle school, I ONLY wanted to teach 8th grade, so I took the 8-12 English-Language Arts TeXes for certification. Now, I wonder if I should add the 4-8 to may repertoire as I am not so afraid of 6th graders anymore. (As an 8th grade teacher, it was rare for a kid to cry in class, but it happened and when it did, it really bothered me. I’d just do that yell-whisper to the crying kid, usually a 13-year-old boy, to go to the bathroom and meet me in the hallway when he calmed down. I knew that the 6th grade teachers dealt with that a lot more and didn’t want to travel that road. Now, crying is part of my daily life, so I think I can handle it.)
Some great FREE online professional development I’ve found follows:
ATPE offers 41 hours of various courses online for FREE. I did one of their three-hour courses today.
Concept to Classroom has several free online courses.
The Library of Congress has many one-hour professional development courses.
My latest freelance client has some great options for professional development, too, with Common Sense Educators. I’ve completed one of their courses.
There are even more paid courses, and I’m sure there are more free ones, too. Hopefully the InterWebs have enough that I can get most of my credits done from home.