Online Professional Development- A Great Way to Sharpen Your Skills in the Summer

All teachers are required to complete many hours of professional development each school year. Unfortunately most districts do not offer these courses to their substitute teachers. Whether you are a retired classroom teacher or a stay at home mom looking to make a little extra money, all substitutes could benefit from professional development. 

There are several organizations and websites that offer free online courses so that you can brush up on your classroom skills. Workshops and videos to help substitute teachers can even be found on sites like youtube. You can sit outside in the sunshine and help yourself to prepare for the upcoming school year while enjoying your time. You can do this anywhere you can get a wifi connection!

So I will focus on the three websites that offer free professional development courses in education. This website has an abundant number of webinars to choose from. Try to focus on topics like:

  • The New Teacher Tool Kit Webinar with Lisa Dabbs
  • The Well-Balanced Teacher with Mike Anderson 
  • Ask Dr. Judy: From Negativity to Motivation with Judy Willis This website is broken down into categories to make it easier to select what you are looking for. Try courses in instructional strategies since you will most likely be working in a variety of classrooms. 

  • INST180 Differentiated Instruction
  • INST320 Connecting Family, Community and Schools 
  • INST120 Digital Lesson Planning for Differing Learning Styles This website has tons of professional development courses, both video and written. The three areas to focus on are:

Classroom management:

  • This course focuses on handling challenging behavior.
  • This course focuses on identifying triggers of challenging behavior.

Ethics and Professional Responsibility

  • Talks about signs of human trafficking
  • Talks about laws around child maltreatment

And search the word “substitute”

  • Focuses on Substitute teacher training 
  • More on substitute teacher training 
  • Basics of substitute teaching 

These are just a few examples to get you started. You can always read or watch these courses in your spare time and most will allow you to stop and resume at a later time. It’s always good for even the best in their craft to brush up their skills once in a while. Taking a few hours of online professional development in the summer is a great way to build these skills. 

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