In order to maintain your teaching certification in New York State, you’re currently required to fulfill 175 hours of professional development every five years. The problem is, many of us certificate holders do not have full-time teaching jobs in districts that offer Professional Development workshops and seminars. Therefore, we are required to find PD opportunities on our own. I have put together a list of venues I have found valuable PD that will hopefully help you, too! Some are online resources while others are local to the Western New York area.
If you have additional places to earn PD hours, please leave a comment below!
EdWeb has a huge selection of free webinars about pretty much any educational topic you could ask for. It is easy to register for upcoming webinars, simple to participate in the chat during the webinar, and effortless to access documents (such as slideshows, audio, and video) after the webinar is over. After participating in the webinar, a certificate is emailed to you the following day. What is even better is that you can also watch webinars from the past and take a quiz in order to receive a certificate when you’re finished.
PBS TeacherLine offers self-paced online courses in a variety of subject areas that are relevant to teachers today. I have found many courses that relate to the Common Core, assessment, and instruction. Many of the courses are worth 2 or 4 PD hours, which I’ve found is a great way to add a lot of hours to my ever-growing list of PD. Some of the courses on the site are paid, while others are free of charge.
The ProLiteracy Education Network offers online courses related to literacy. They are free of charge and you may take them at your own pace. After you’re finished, your certificate appears on your account page and you are able to download it or print it.
Orleans/Niagara BOCES has a Teacher Center full of professional development opportunities throughout the year. They offer workshops, most of which are $5 per hour, across the spectrum of educational topics, including instructional practice, classroom management, and technology. Many workshops are offered right at O/N BOCES, while others are offered online. In the latest catalog, they even added book studies that focus upon books popular in today’s education community.
The Far West Teacher Center Network offers free seminars at locations around Western New York. Their website is continuously updated with new events and registration is online.
The Buffalo Museum of Science offers professional development opportunities for teachers. The topics are interesting and fit a variety of teachers’ needs and interests. Each workshop is 3 hours long and costs $30 for non-members and $25 for members of the museum.
Monthly or bimonthly, the DDAWNY offers a workshop at Temple Beth Zion Play and Learn School in Amherst. The two-hour, free workshop is usually related to the field of early childhood. If you attend a workshop and provide your email address, you will receive a flier via email letting you know when the next workshop is taking place.