What Does Summer PD for Teachers Look Like?

Over the past few weeks, we at Education Week Teacher collected some responses from our readers on how they've been spending the summer. In particular, we wanted to get a feel for what kind of learning activities they are engaging in during their "time off."

  1. Earlier this month, we posed the question "What's the best kind of summer PD?" in one of our featured forum discussions.

    Our readers offered their thoughts:

    "Head outdoors, enjoy the weather & the break, and just sit and listen to any gathering of children, preferably near the age you teach. We have the opportunity to just listen and in the process learn more than any formal PD will ever teach us." — zep

    "If you are a middle or high school science teacher you should take a Modeling Workshop. It was the single best professional development workshop I have ever attended in my 25 year teaching career. Workshops are held across the nation in Physical Science (targeted for 8th and 9th grade teachers), Biology, Chemistry, and Physics." — redpony
  2. We decided to carry the conversation to Twitter to hear how educators were spending their summers.
  3. Here are some responses we got:

    When asked if summer PD was a priority, one teacher replied:
  4. @EdWeekTeacher Yes! I'm a learner before a teacher!!! I MUST stay on top of the newest in order to bring it into my classes & engage Ss!
  5. Many teachers said they've returned to being students and are taking some courses for enjoyment or professional reasons.
  6. @EdWeekTeacher -taking a condensed additional qualification course this summer. Will be worth it even with a shortened summer vacation.
  7. @EdWeekTeacher I am seeking a second master degree in educational technology and online instruction from Liberty University #ewteacherpd
  8. Education Week has written about Coursera and its endeavors in the K-12 landscape. Coursera is a free online resource that provides hundreds of massive open online courses.
  9. When we asked teachers about the best thing they've ever done for PD over the break, a teacher responded:
  10. @EdWeekTeacher Get out & DO the science I teach...not just sit & listen or read about it.#edteacherpd
  11. @EdWeekTeacher Done: #DISeaLab oceanography research, @INL on nuclear, @PPPLab on fusion, @NSCL #PAN rare isotopes. #fun #ewteacherpd
  12. This physical science teacher mentions learning marine science with Dauphin Island Sea Lab and nuclear energy with Idaho National Lab.
  13. Two teachers said they are spending the break seizing new opportunities and skills through internships.
  14. @EdWeekTeacher interning under a zone superintendent and heading up a K intervention toolkit for literacy #intense #ewteacherpd
  15. The Urban Education Leaders Internship Program provides young "emerging leaders" with internships in the central office for D.C. Public Schools. 
  16. Many teachers are spending time getting familiar with social media tools.
  17. @EdWeekTeacher I became a Twitter chat-o-holic this summer! Best PD ever but not sure how I'll kick the habit when school starts.
  18. @EdWeekTeacher holidays allow more time to spend on twitter for PD. Great to catch chats all over the world in diff time zones #ewteacherpd
  19. If you haven't joined Twitter yet, read Peter DeWitt's blog to find out reasons why you might want to.
  20. We also asked what summer PD meant for teachers, and this is how some replied.
  21. @EdWeekTeacher Summer PD helps teachers gain insight to new techniques, feeds the mind, rejuvenates the love of teaching. #ewteacherpd
  22. @EdWeekTeacher #ewteacherpd for me is taking a #gifted course, teaching a #tech course, and reading lots of blogs and tweets from my PLN!
  23. And sometimes you just have to take advantage of the break and relax. Several teachers pointed out that reflecting on the past year may be just as an important aspect of PD as taking workshops.
  24. @EdWeekTeacher Read, learn, and go do things related to what I teach. Museums, movies, books, etc.
  25. @EdWeekTeacher ...taking time to recharge- reflect- and read... A well-balanced teacher =a well balanced class :) #ewteacherpd
  26. Want to try something new for your summer PD? Have you seen these resources? For more ideas on PD, check out the following:
  27. Summer's still not over! Let us know what you're doing for professional development this summer with #ewteacherpd.