Spring Break is just around the corner, and hopefully recharging your batteries is number 1 on your list. The clocks have changed, the weather has improved and 4th quarter has a nice ring to it. However, if you do find yourself looking for free professional development during your break, here’s my Top 10 list.
#1 Read A Blog – Free, easy to access on your device and also easy to collate using the Feedly app, there are a wealth of excellent teachers out there willing to share their resources with others. Take time to read a blog or too – I love the blog from Teacher Toolkit.
#2 Listen to a Podcast – This medium continues to expand with health and physical education teachers producing some really good content. In addition to the Voxcast, The PE Geek Podcast and SHAPE America‘s podcast be sure to check out newcomers to the field – The Fundamental Movement and Run Your Life.
#3 Watch a TED Talk – Available in audio and visual format, the TED talks continue to churn out awesome resources that can be used for professional development or used in your classroom. Here’s a link to ALL TED talks.
#4 Check Out Your Library – It may have been a while since you checked out your local library. They’ve moved into the 21st century with audio books available via apps. You no longer need to visit the library (but I suggest you should) and you NEVER have to worry about books being overdue as they drop off of your device when your loan period is up. My local library and my school library use different apps and I have the Overdrive and Hoopla apps available for me to listen to or read books on my iPad or Kindle.
#5 Access a Webinar – There are so many great health and physical education webinars available for you to access from the comfort of your own home. I recommend that you check out SPARK (their most recent webinar was for us health teachers!), SHAPE America (free to members…you ARE a member aren’t you?), and of course the Physedagogy video’s are available on YouTube for you to work your way through.
#6 Find a Mentor or Mentee – Check out SHAPE America’s Mentor Match. Get paired up with another professional and develop together, at your own pace, in your own time.
#7 Subscribe to Newsletters – Click ‘subscribe’ to some of these great organizations, sit back and watch your inbox fill up with resources that can be used immediately or saved for another day. Many of these free subscriptions can be refined to reflect your needs, or stopped if they prove to be irrelevant. My favorites include the CDC , the OAH, and ASHA.
#8 Outsource Yourself – Not everyone has spring break at the same time as you so there are many of your peers still working hard in their classroom. Why not consider helping them out by skyping into their lesson? Check out how Adam Llevo did just this and taught a PE lesson in America….while being based in Saudi Arabia.
#9 Collaborate Online – Got an idea? A question? Consider starting the conversation on Twitter….or taking it deeper by engaging with other teachers on Voxer. Personally, I’m looking forward to the next Voxer book club – working our way through a TGfU text.
#10 Extend Your PLN – When engaging in chats online, follow those that you engage with. If you are looking for health teachers to follow, here’s my list of over 150 active accounts that will keep the PD conversation going until Spring Break is over.