Money-Saving Tips for Professional Development
By Holly Poulos
Interested in professional development, but not sure you can afford it on your teacher's salary? Want to improve your classroom so you can maximize your students' potential? We can help. There are lots of ways you can continue your education and improve your teaching skills – without going broke.
A grant is a gift from the government, a foundation, or another organization that is interested in investing in your role as a teacher. They provide a sum of money to help you further your education, implement a classroom program, or allow you to purchase certain goods for your students.
Though there is a lot of competition for most grants, there are so many available today that it's worth your time and effort to apply for any that apply to your situation. Find more information here:
Visit these websites to see many grant listings:
- American Federation of Teachers
- International Reading Association
- The NEA Foundation
- Teachers Count
- U.S. Department of Education
Getting an advanced degree is a dependable way to improve your teaching skills and your professional resume. However, with courses at your local university costing several hundred dollars per credit, along with the practical bills you incur – from the gas for your car to the parking fees to the student ID – getting a Master's degree on a tight budget can feel impossible. Additionally, the class schedule might prevent working teachers from being able to attend the lectures.
One cost-effective and time-saving way to enhance your education is to take online courses. Your local college might offer correspondence courses to encourage working students to improve their education while catering to their unique time constraints. If not, there are plenty of national programs that can give you the opportunity to complete a degree or continuing education course. The cost of each course and/or degree offered varies widely, as do the class-participation level and workload, so be sure to do your research and figure out what's right for you. Make sure that the university is accredited and that the courses you're enrolled in will be applicable to your current job or dream position. And if your school system offers incentives to teachers who engage in professional development, you might even be eligible for a pay increase upon completion!
Here are just a few of the places you can look for online courses for teachers:
- Drake University
- Drexel University
- PBS TeacherLine
- University of Phoenix
- University of Scranton
- Walden University
Articles & Other Resources
If your money is really tight, or you're looking for a way to improve your professional skills while waiting for a grant or a program to begin, try the many professional development materials on TeacherVision. Topics covered include journaling, cooperative learning, reading skills, and plenty more.