Online Professional Development: Earn CEUs and Sharpen Your Skills
We know that as schools and child care centers quickly—often, overnight—were forced to shut their doors, as once-bustling classrooms and playgrounds began to sit quiet and empty, that what you thought first about was the children. Next, your thoughts went to the ways that you could assist the children’s families during this time, to help them provide some semblance of the structure and routine and support that children usually find through spending their days with you and their classmates. And, of course, you also thought of your own families.
Now, more than ever, you need to carve out some time to also take care of you. Find ways to fill your own bucket, and to dedicate opportunities for your own learning and growth.
Recently, my colleague Sandra Faria and I hosted a webinar with a model for how you could start to put together a personal professional development plan. You can view a recording of the webinar here. While on the webinar, we heard many of you actively seeking out ways to earn CEUs online, or from home, during this time.
Earn CEUs Online at Home
We are excited to announce that, for the first time ever, the Teaching Strategies complete library of online professional development courses is available for purchase—for programs or for individual teachers. Of course, an advantage of online professional development is that you can access it anytime, anywhere, as long as you have a digital device with a connection to the Internet. You can also return to and review any part of any course, as many times as you’d like. You can access courses in whatever order makes the most sense to you, and even view the individual tutorials within a course whatever order you prefer.
For a nominal fee per user, you will receive unlimited access to our online professional development courses for one year. Your purchase will show up as “20 credits” in your bank of online credits in the Develop area of MyTeachingStrategies, but will actually function the same way that any other subscription works—meaning you can take any (or all!) of our online courses, as many times as you’d like, for a full year after your purchase. You are free to focus on a single course at a time, or pick-and-choose your way through various tutorials of particular interest to you. And along the way, when you complete any 5- or 10-hour courses, you can earn valuable Continuing Education Units (CEUs)*.
Some of the courses provide information and support for implementing The Creative Curriculum and GOLD, but others offer best-practice solutions for early childhood educators, regardless of the curriculum or assessment materials used at your program. And new courses continue to be added throughout the year – making it easier than ever to earn CEUs online and continue to develop your practice.
Why Online Professional Development?
Some weeks ago—around the beginning of March—I sat down in front of my computer to write a blog post about the importance of professional development.
I opened with a story of a teacher I knew many years ago named Pat. Pat, who taught first grade, was beloved throughout our school community. As a new teacher, I of course looked up to her and wanted to learn from her. She used to share a story of how, as a new teacher herself, she told her then new-husband that if “he could just bear with” her for “the first two weeks of the school year and the last two weeks of the school year,” she could find some time to relax a bit. Once life at school wasn’t so hectic, she reasoned, she would have free time to concentrate on life outside her classroom.
Well, soon Pat’s request to her husband began to include not only the first two weeks and the last two weeks, abut also the two weeks before each round of family conferences. Then it grew to include not only the first two weeks, the last two weeks, and the two weeks before each round of family conferences, but also the two weeks before the school year started, the two weeks after the school year ended, and the two weeks before and after the big winter holiday break. Then it became…well, you get the picture. Pat was busy all year round being a first-grade teacher!
My point in that blog post was going to be that I knew spring was a busy time of year for teachers, but, then again, if you are a teacher or leader of a school, it’s pretty much always “a busy time of year.”
And then this happened.
By this I of course mean the unprecedented closure of schools and childcare centers across the country—along with the closure of most of the rest of the businesses and social institutions we all typically interact with and depend on—as concerns about COVID-19 rose to the point that we could no longer carry on as usual.
I could have written that initial blog post at any point from January to December (or August to July!), because, in any typical school year, you really are busy all year long. But this suddenly became a completely atypical school year, didn’t it? Suddenly, you are busy in a very new, very complex, very uncertain kind of way, so much so that “busy” can’t come close to fully describing what teachers are currently experiencing and feeling.
In my original blog post, I wanted to eventually get to the point that, the busier you are, the more important it is that you make the time to take care of yourself as an educator. If there is anything that remains true, essential, and unchanged throughout the severe curveball this school year has thrown, it’s the need for taking care of yourself.
We look forward to hearing from you as we all continue to seek new ways to connect, grow, develop, learn, and make the best of the many ways we find ourselves working through the new version of “busy.”
Teaching Strategies is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU.
*The exception is the 10-hour course on Objectives for Development and Learning, which does not offer a CEU.
We are committed to providing innovative resources to support educators and families during this time. Check out these additional resources:
Purchase online professional development subscriptions for teachers in your program or for yourself and start to earn CEUs online today.