If you buy a car, no matter how much you pay or what that car is worth, it requires maintenance. It’ll lose its value and break down if you don’t get your car serviced every few thousand miles. That’s exactly what happens to teachers.
The world keeps turning and things evolve—and so should our teaching. As new generations sit in our desks and young minds ask different questions, our education needs to evolve. This is why continuing education is so important for teachers. Don’t get replaced like an old car—be a classic. Be innovative and stay current.
Most states or schools will require teachers to renew their license every few years and show annual continuing education credits. But I’m afraid this requirement often leads to teachers hitting a button to clock hours instead of finding thought-provoking material that will make them better educators.
Here’s what to look for when seeking continuing education:
■ Find a visionary. Someone who knows the newest and greatest ways to reach the youngest generation of students has the greatest value in the classroom today. Increase your own value by learning from a visionary.
■ Delivery is key. Methodology classes are great for educators, but, more specifically, any class that focuses on how to deliver is even better. When we repeat the same material year after year, we get stale. Classes on delivery will help you change up your style and energy.
■ In-person training is best. It’s not that I’m completely against online classes, but they need to be good courses. Your motivation has to be right. You have to want to do it and it can’t be because it’s easy. The human element of in-person training is an unmatched atmosphere.
■ Networking opportunities. Find continuing education settings that allow you to network with other educators from across the country or your state. It’s nice to know you’re not on an island and it also allows you to learn best practices from other educators like you.
If you’re looking for continuing education, please check out my upcoming speaking gigs. Never underestimate the power of an educator!