Learning for teachers does not end after you get your education degree. With today's No Child Left Behind standards to meet in order to renew your license, you need to take additional training and classes to fulfill those requirements. Where can you get this type of training? You can start by looking at online universities; many of these programs offer continuing education classes that will fit the bill perfectly.
Here are a few more tips.
- Check with your local community college. Most community colleges offer weekend and night adult continuing education classes that may meet the requirements you need to renew your license. These classes may be related to the subject you teach, or they could be education classes that will help improve your teaching techniques. Be sure to check with your state Board of Education to make sure the classes you are taking will meet your state's requirements.
- Don't throw away that "junk mail" at school! A lot of online and distance learning programs send out brochures with classes they offer to educators that will fulfill their license renewal requirements. Your first impulse may be to just throw those brochures away when they show up in your mailbox, but look through them first in case something interesting and relevant is in there.
- Talk with other teachers in your department. They may have suggestions as to classes they have already taken that were worthwhile. Most likely they have taken not only subject-specific classes that may help you out, but also education methods classes with techniques and tips to make them better teachers.
- Take advantage of all in-service workshops. Pay attention, take notes, and ask questions at teacher in-service days to get the most out of the experience. If there is a guest speaker or teacher at the workshop, ask if she teaches other classes or workshops at a local college or correspondence program.
- Pursue a higher degree. Go get your Master's Degree or even your PhD. These classes will count toward your licensure renewal and you will make a jump on the pay scale as well. You can find online programs or enroll in a traditional campus-based program that meets nights and weekends or summer semesters.
- Read educational journals and books. No time for actual classes? While reading the books and articles will not earn you credits to renew your licensure, you can still pick up the latest tricks and techniques by reading journals and books on the current research. Try some of the skills in your daily classroom to see which work best for you.
- Ask your administration. Principals and Superintendents are great resources for suggestions of training and classes you can take to improve your teaching. They will be impressed with your initiative and dedication to making yourself a better teacher.