During our teaching careers, most of us have experienced worthwhile, meaningful professional development. But we’ve also wasted our time sitting in a workshop that has no relevance to our practice and that robs us of precious time to plan, grade papers, and have a life.
Classroom Teaching Ambassador Fellow Pam Smith offers two examples of the former: “meaningful, productive professional development opportunities” that have enriched her teaching and learning.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC has quality, timely teacher workshops each summer, as well as enriching fellowship experiences. The viewing time in the Museum as well as the interaction with Holocaust survivors are both priceless components of the multi-day professional development. Due to my participation in both Belfer summer conferences as well as the Museum Teacher Fellow program, my life changed and I grew as a Holocaust educator and world citizen. The USHMM workshops are conducted throughout the country. Check the website for spring and summer workshops in DC as well as Pennsylvania (March 10), Indiana (April 15, 2011), and Iowa (June 15, 2011).
Another excellent annual teacher conference and summer program is offered at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, in Independence, Missouri. Mark Adams, the Education Director and webmaster, and Tom Heuertz, the Associate Education Coordinator, plan a week-long event featuring topics related to the Truman era as well as world issues. I have attended conferences related to the Cold War, Presidential decision making, 1948, and World War I. This year’s conference will be held July 11-July 15 with the topic “Kansas, Missouri and the Civil War: 1854-1865.” The conference agenda can be found at http://www.trumanlibrary.org/borderwars/agenda_2011.pdf . Application information is located at http://www.trumanlibrary.org/borderwars/TeacherApplicationForm.doc.
Having read Pam’s suggestions, we would like to invite other teachers to share examples of specific professional development experiences that have refreshed, empowered, and motivated them. Please send your recommendations!
2010-2011 Teaching Ambassador Fellows