By Anh Delos Reyes
Hello fellow educators! Another school year in the books! Can you believe you it? You have made it through another year of excitement, challenges, laughs, tears—just another emotional roller coaster. But it was worth it, as students exit your classroom with more knowledge, skills, and experience under their belts. All thanks to you!
So our students have left with more, but what about us? Did we leave the year with more tools or knowledge under our belts? Do we feel more equipped as teachers? Do we have what we need for another year of teaching? Do we have what it takes to keep educating our students to prepare them for their future?
Before I go on and on about extra work for teachers, let me introduce myself.
I, Anh Nguyen Delos Reyes, am also an educator, like many of you who may be reading this article. I just finished my ninth year in education (crazy!). And I applaud those who are new teachers, and those who are veterans! I have taught in Oakland and San Diego, with experiences in teacher leadership, nonprofits, and admin work. My focus is elementary, but I have dabbled a little with middle school and some outdoor education.
My career began by just focusing on teaching, but as I delved deeper into the work, I began to realize all the opportunities that were opened to me as an educator, and that my role was not limited to just teaching! To be a teacher, one needs to continue to learn!
With summer here, we ask ourselves, what is next?
What can I do to be more prepared for my students, my community, my school? Yes, it is summer, so please go ENJOY it.
But if you are looking to move on the salary schedule (for work you have already done) or to beginning planning for next year, or interested in learning about educational leadership. I may have a few things you might want to take advantage of.
Some of these programs will even pay you to attend.
District and School-Site PDs
First and foremost, always check in with your admin and/or district to see what is offered. If you are a part of Oakland Unified School District, check out OUSD intranet, and click on On-Trak for a list of professional developments available. They have something for everyone, and some will even be related to the curriculum your school may be using! Most of the PDs will also provide planning time (yes, real planning time!).
OUSD will also pay you to attend, yes PAY you to attend. If you are not part of OUSD, email your admin, I am sure they would love to hear that you want to keep growing! Not in a district? At my charter in San Diego, they were willing to send us to other district’s PDs or the county’s. Always ask!
If you are already a teacher leader or maybe you are ready to do some exploring in leadership, these are a few options. Cornerstone is put on by UC Berkeley, it is a great way to learn and practice those teacher leadership skills right at your site.
Want more practice or deeper understanding on how to push not only student efficacy, but teacher efficacy as well? Check out New Leaders , they have programs that can help you in all levels of leadership (thinking about being a principal?).
We can not forget all the universities that offer Administrative Credentials programs as well. Reach School Leadership may also be an option, they do have a rolling admission process. Though the classroom is our forte, we too can make a difference at the leadership level!
There are also learning opportunities happening outside your school, that may not be tied directly to your curriculum, but can definitely lift your instruction. The Bay Area Writing Project has a workshop for every grade level, and all centered around writing practices. Their PDs are given by educators, just like yourself! They also provide workshops for those who are interested in joining their team. It is a great opportunity to gain some leadership, and money! They have workshops throughout the year, not limited to just summers. Learn more here!
One more great way to keep moving up the pay scale, University of Pacific, with Courses for Teachers will allow you to earn more credits, so that you can move onto the next column! The courses are designed around extracurriculars that teachers already do (planning field trips, researching and creating lesson plans outside of your curriculum), just a quick type up of the hours, and you can purchase units (transferable!) to move you along on the salary schedule!
I hope this provides some insight into extra learnings we all can do, and that you take advantage of at least one of them! However, please do go and take time for some most deserved self-care!
Wishing you only the best,