Teachers want to be the best they can be at their job, and they know that education is a lifelong process. But meeting professional development requirements can often feel like a hassle rather than something that’s meaningful. Districts offer (and require) plenty of their own PD, but they may not cover topics that really interest or benefit you. That’s why it’s helpful to be able to track down professional development for teachers that’s truly a good use of your time.
Use these resources (recommended by fellow teachers!) to find PD on a variety of topics, both in person and online. A few tips:
- Each state and/or school district has different PD requirements, and one may accept a PD activity that others don’t. Be sure to verify what you’ll need.
- Remember that grants may be available to help offset costs if necessary.
- If you need continuing education credits (CECs or CEUs), be sure to find out if the program offers them and if your district or state accepts them. Similarly, if you need a certificate to document your completion, ask about it in advance.
The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek is a 52-week program that helps you streamline your teaching, one area at a time. Essentially, it’s a yearlong professional development endeavor focused on increasing productivity. The goal is cultivating a more productive mindset to help you succeed, no matter what you teach. At the end of the course, you will receive a professional development certificate to document up to 104 credit hours. See our review of this innovative professional development for teachers here.
Nat Geo’s free online courses teach you how to motivate your students to ask deep questions and think like National Geographic Explorers. They also teach you how to design inspiring lesson plans that turn your students into scientific storytellers who connect with diverse researchers and take action to solve global challenges. Teachers can earn graduate credits for many of these courses through one of National Geographic’s university partnerships. See our overview of the courses here.
The free online course at Modern Classrooms (developed by two public school teachers) helps teachers interested in implementing self-paced, mastery-based learning in their classrooms. The course itself is self-paced, and you can earn a certificate indicating you’ve completed 5-10 hours of PD. See our review of this course here.
Teachers in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group love EdWeb! They recommended it more than any other page for terrific free teacher PD on a huge variety of subjects. “Lots of helpful webinars to watch with printable certificates available after viewing (the lists will tell you which ones have PD certificates available),” says Molly K.
The William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University offers a variety of free online courses and webinars. Their courses are self-directed and self-paced and provide certificates and potential CEC/CEU offers.
NGPF is dedicated to helping all students learn how to manage their personal finances, a key executive-functioning skill that’s often not taught in schools. They offer free online courses and videos, along with the lessons and materials teachers need to get their students started on the path to financial responsibility.
For a fee (currently $29.99/month or $199/year), teachers have access to professional development created by teachers for teachers. You can try one free live class per month, but to unlock all content and earn certificates, the relatively small monthly fee is worth it. Attend live trainings or listen to recordings on topics that truly interest you, presented by fellow educators.
Looking to take more detailed courses that really dive into educational topics? Consider the Heritage Institute. You’ll earn both PD hours and CEU/CEC credits. Courses are self-paced, and you have six months to complete them. Prices vary by class, with different courses discounted each month, so check back regularly if there’s a subject that interests you to see if the price has dropped.
PLB offers robust self-paced online PD courses, and can even help you get the credits you need to renew your teaching license. Their site provides the information you need, state by state, and ensures you get the certificates or transcripts to meet your requirements. Prices vary based on courses, with a free class on Keeping Kids Safe that you can take to see if PLB is right for you.
BER has live online events, plus in-person classes around the country. You can also watch recorded events or take online courses. You’ll get PD hours for each, and may be able to earn CEC/CEU hours depending on your state. Prices vary by event or course, with discounts for signing up three or more people at the same time.
Complete online PD workshops at your own pace, with 16 weeks from the time of enrollment to finish. Choose from instructors you like and topics that will truly help you become a better teacher. You’ll earn PD hours and may have the ability to gain graduate level credits too. Costs vary by workshop, starting as low as $39.
Choose between instructor-led and self-paced courses that last six weeks to an entire year. Topics include child development, classroom technology, math and science, and reading and writing. Six-week courses start at $115, earning you 24 course hours.