What are you doing this summer? As a teacher, summer can be the perfect time to pursue continuing education, whether for personal growth, professional teacher development, certificate renewal, salary increments, or beginning a master’s degree program.
Summer Learning for Teachers
Like students who take 3 months off from school, teachers can find it hard to re-enter the classroom after a long break. Setting an example of continual learning during that period can help you avoid the summer slump while giving you some new ideas and skills for the classroom.
There are plenty of ways to keep you on your educational toes throughout the summer, whether through self-learning efforts or professional growth. How about attending an educational conference? Or mastering a new educational app? There are hundreds of these classroom aids to choose from, so select those best for your subject and unique needs – you’re likely to impress your students with your digital-savvy. Want to make better presentations? Learn to use software designed specifically for creating educational presentations and videos – with templates! You can also check out free teacher resource sites or access/share lessons and resources with other educators.
And it won’t be wasted time to get familiar with the latest video games, movies, apps, music, and trends for the age group that you teach so you can better converse with them when school resumes – or even incorporate some of them into your lesson plans to boost engagement. Learning over the summer, even in small ways, can keep your head in the game for when fall arrives.
Professional Growth for Educators
Some professions intrinsically require continuous education because of their changing natures – professions like medicine, law, and education. For the educator, new research that informs best practices; changes in demographics, cultural norms, and student needs; new policies; unique learning environments, such as the move to online learning during COVID; and advances in technology all dictate the need for ongoing professional growth among educators and administrators. This growth can be formal or informal, but either way, it needs to be intentional.
There are myriad avenues for growth as a teacher. You can find a book about teaching that you want to explore; visit other schools/classrooms; attend teacher conferences; research best practices or a particular subject; subscribe to educational journals; master some technology you’ve avoided; or join professional organizations to gain current insights into teaching your subject. Other ways to grow professionally include enrolling in professional development courses, taking specific college courses, or returning to school to earn a master’s degree to give you the targeted training you need to meet your career goals.
Continuing Education for Teachers
The need for continuing education in the teaching profession is clear, as seen by the requirement that educators earn CEUs (Continuing Education Units) to maintain licensure/certification and to move up the salary scale. These requirements vary by state but are in place to ensure that students are receiving the best and most relevant education possible by teachers who stay on the cutting edge of the profession.
If you are seeking credit to apply towards your professional teacher development (CEU) requirements, you’ll want to make sure your summer learning is through a recognized Professional Development School like Ottawa University. As a pioneer in adult professional education, Ottawa University has earned the prestigious Colleges of Distinction in Education designation for delivering on four overarching distinctions: Student Engagement, Teaching, Community, and Outcomes.
OU’s Teacher Professional Education Program (PEP) is designed for certified elementary and secondary educators interested in career growth. Courses are developed to address current needs in the classroom and train educators in best practices. Offered throughout the summer and mostly online, some of the 2022 offerings include Linguistics for ESL/BLE, Assessment of ESL Students/Programs, Google Slides in the Classroom, Intro to Reading Development, Deep Dive into Dyslexia, Google Bootcamp, Classroom Technology Integration, and the Impact of Media Portrayals of Teachers. OU’s PEP courses are currently open for enrollment.
Continuing Education for College Credit
One of the best uses of your time this summer might be to take a college education course that will earn you professional growth credit and can also be applied towards a master’s degree. Whether you enroll in a master’s program like Ottawa University’s MAED or test the waters by taking a single course, it’s a win-win. At Ottawa University, we have both the degree and professional growth courses you need to advance in your career.
Master's Programs for Teachers
Whether as teachers, principals, guidance counselors, or school psychologists, we need strong education leaders now more than ever to provide the next generation with a solid educational foundation for their lives and careers. Ottawa University’s online Master of Arts in Education (MAED) will help you gain the skills and knowledge you need to both shape and enhance student-learning experiences.
The 36-hour program of study gives practicing classroom teachers the skills to become exemplary educators and increase their earning power. Beyond the classroom, the degree provides graduates the opportunity to be hired for positions within educational administration, or in other industries, such as local or state government, educational support services or community colleges, and universities and professional schools. OU’s MAED gives you the flexibility to learn on your own time while preparing to take on the current challenges in education in areas such as curriculum, technology, and instruction.
Master’s Degree Concentrations for Teachers
Want to specialize? OU offers five concentrations to complement the MAED degree, helping you personalize your education and work toward the career that best fits your goals and skill set.
Salaries for Teachers with Master’s Degrees
It’s worth noting that earning your Master of Arts in Education has its advantages. Beyond having the credentials to move into various administrative roles, adding a master’s degree to your resume will garner you a higher salary as a teacher, as well. A 2019 analysis by the National Council on Teacher Quality studied the 100 largest school districts in the nation and the largest district in each state. It showed that earning a graduate degree remains one of the primary ways for teachers to earn higher salaries - $5,285 more annually, on average, than teachers holding only a bachelor’s degree. If received early in your career, your master’s degree could mean upwards of $160,000 more in earnings by the time you retire. With the average cost of a master’s degree landing between $20,000 and $38,000, you’re still getting a considerable return on your investment - maybe even more as the education field works to fill projected openings and offer competitive salaries.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for high school teachers is expected to grow by 8% between 2020 and 2030, while the need for elementary teachers is projected to be 7%. The average salary for each was $61,820 in 2021, though it varies considerably by state and region. On the other hand, administrators earned an average of $98,420 in 2021, with an expected growth rate of 8%.
So, What Are You Doing This Summer?
Why not make your summer count with professional teacher development at Ottawa University? To learn more about the MAED degree program and PEP courses at Ottawa University, contact us today!