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Summertime professional development for teachers

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Your students are out of school and off having fun while you're busy scheduling professional development opportunities into your calendar. Don't let your summer PD get in the way of your fun -- make it an integral part with this list of three great ideas. No dragging your feet to these events. These professional development opportunities will leave you feeling renewed and inspired (while still leaving you time to relax).

Your students are out of school and off having fun while you're busy scheduling professional development opportunities into your calendar. Why not incorporate fun into your summer PD by making it an integral part of your summer activities.

These three professional development opportunities will leave you feeling renewed and inspired, while still giving you plenty of time to relax and enjoy your summer.

Three summertime professional development opportunities for educators

1. Start a book club with your colleagues.

Research shows that book clubs can be a highly effective form of professional development. Teachers can choose to read books on teaching techniques and leadership or they can focus on possible candidates for their next year's reading curriculum. And remember, book clubs don't have to be limited to teachers within the same grade. Research shows that diverse groups may be the most effective.

2. Organize a TeachMeet.

Speed-dating style TeachMeets function under the same mission as edcamps and unconferencesto provide participant-driven, interactive professional development at little or no cost to attendees. If you can't attend one of the many edcamps popping up across the country, create your own by following a speed-dating style edcamp introduced in the UK.

Here's how it works: each attendee must prepare a two-minute presentation on an innovative or effective classroom strategy. Participants' names are dropped into a hat and the presentation schedule is randomly selected. Audience members are encouraged to engage in conversation, either through Twitter or another online forum, throughout the presentations. This method allows many different ideas to be shared in a short amount of time, encourages collaboration, and eliminates passive participation.

3. Send yourself to (re)boot camp.

Get some great classroom ideas by joining Teacher Reboot Camp a site that offers professional development articles, ideas, and opportunities. You'll get great suggestions for classroom activities, ways to support English learners, ideas for communicating with parents, and more—all with support from an ever-growing online community. 

Wherever you get your professional learning this summer, remember to also take it easy and recharge your batteries to be prepared for next school year. Happy summer!

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