What Are Some Continuing Education Options for Teachers?
As a teacher, you'll continue taking courses or even earning additional degrees to improve your teaching practice throughout your career. As part of your continuing education, you may master new learning technologies, deepen your subject matter knowledge or move into another area of education, such as administration or education technology.
Overview of Required Continuing Education Options for Teachers
As a teacher, you engage in regular in-service professional development within your school district. Your school district likely promotes teacher improvement by integrating professional development into the school week. School-based workshops and seminars deal with a wide variety of teaching topics, such as classroom management techniques, integration of technology into the classroom or project-based learning.
Abundant opportunities for continued education are also available outside of your school. Local universities and state educational organizations often offer seminars and conferences that may involve taking classes for a few hours or even a week. Professional organizations for all types of teachers, such as language arts or science teachers, are among sources of additional professional development. The National Science Teachers Association, for example, sponsors a variety of professional development institutes, Web seminars and professional learning communities.
Important Facts About Continuing Education Options for Teachers
|Prerequisites||BA in education or relevant field, teaching license, teaching experience|
|Concentrations||International education policy|
|Online Availability||Fully available|
|Possible Careers||University faculty, policymakers, graduate teaching assistant, adjunct professor|
|Median Salary (2021)||$50,000*|
|Job Outlook (2019-2029)|| 4% growth (for kindergarten and elementary school teachers)** |
4% growth (for high school teachers)**
9% growth (for postsecondary teachers)**
Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Continuing Education Options
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most states require teachers to earn a certain amount of continuing education credits to maintain their certification status (www.bls.gov). School districts are generally required to create plans for teachers to meet these professional development requirements. You may also need to earn a master's degree in education if you teach in one of several states with this requirement. In this case, you'll typically have a minimum of five years to earn a graduate degree, and you'll likely receive support from your school district.
Certificate Programs for Teachers
You may wish to earn college credits toward an education certificate program, which may focus on a particular teaching skill area or lead to an endorsement. With an endorsement, you can teach a subject that's not part of your original credential. Some popular endorsements include reading, bilingual education and teaching English as a second language (ESL). Certificate programs for educators provide numerous ways to deepen knowledge of your current teaching area or help you transition to another area. You can oftentimes apply credits earned in a certificate program toward a master's degree.
A sample of certificate programs in education includes those listed below:
- Educational technology
- Resource specialist
- Arts in education
- Gifted education
- Multicultural education
- Special education
Graduate Degrees in Education
Whether it's obligatory in your state or not, earning a graduate degree increases your competence as a teacher as well as your salary, according to the BLS. A graduate degree can also facilitate your move into leadership positions within your department or into school-wide administrative positions, such as a school principal. Colleges of education provide Master of Arts and Master of Education programs to help you attain diverse career goals, whether you wish to become a school counselor, a researcher, a special education teacher or an environmental teacher. Among the wide range of education graduate degree programs are the following:
- Educational administration
- School counseling
- Mind, brain and education
- Human development and education
- Environmental education
- Math education
- Language, reading and culture
- Special education