Is It Necessary To Register For a PD Class Early?
Is it really that bad to wait until the last day to register for a K-12 professional development class? The short answer is, yes, but also, no.
Let’s start with why it may not be so bad to wait until the last day. If you are unsure about whether or not you want to take that class, waiting until the day before might be your best option. Doing so allows you time to decide if you want to take the class or not.
Some individuals have ongoing or upcoming life events that may leave them questioning the timing of the class or their ability to manage all the coursework. We speak with a lot of teachers who registered early for a class and a life event happened that didn’t allow them to complete the class. We work with these students to either finish or drop the class. Those cases are often things that come up unexpectedly. That is the unpredictability of life; we get it!
Waiting until the last day to register allows for those unknowns. Registering for a class and then dropping it right before it begins is a lot of additional work for everyone. In these instances, waiting to register is a good thing. In a future post, we will discuss strategies for getting into a class that is listed as “full.”
Now, let’s discuss the top three reasons to register for a K-12 professional development class early. In our office, when we speak with teachers regarding a class they may want to take, we nearly always suggest they register early.
To ensure you are able to get into the class.
Some classes have limited registration, are grant-funded (read: free to teachers), or are so popular that they fill up right away. If you need these classes before a specific date, register for these classes as soon as you are able to. The classes I just listed tend to fill up quickly.
Instructors can gauge interest in their class.
Registering early allows an instructor to determine if they have enough students to run an effective and engaging class. Some classes can be held with minimal students and are not likely to cancel but many classes need a specific number of students for various reasons. These reasons can be as simple as ensuring you have the correct number of students to break into pairs or small groups. Other reasons might be that an instructor needs to ensure the space for the class is of adequate size, they have enough course materials, or there are enough students to warrant bringing in an outside speaker or speakers.
You avoid late fees.
By choosing to register early, you avoid pesky late fees. There are times when individuals cannot avoid registering late, which is why we allow individuals to register late. However, late registrations often come with an associated late fee. This late fee is charged mainly to cover the cost of the additional work it takes to add one individual to a class. It may not seem like a lot of extra work but by the time we charge a late fee, all aspects of the class are set up and ready to go. When an individual registers late, it requires our staff to redo many of the components they have already completed. Twenty-five dollars may not seem like a lot but think about how many morning coffees you could buy with that. Or, tell us how you would spend the $25 you didn’t spend on a late fee, in the comments below.
We want to ensure your K-12 professional development experience is the best it can be, so be sure to register for your classes early, if your schedule allows. And, remember if your life circumstances don’t allow you to register early, we still allow individuals to register late; you may just have to pay a late fee. Sometimes paying a late fee is worth it, and sometimes it is not. It is all in how you look at a late fee and what your personal situation is.
If you have any questions about K-12 professional development classes, feel free to contact our office by phone at 701-231-7015 or by email at email@example.com . Let us know in the comments below if these tips have been useful for you.
About the Author
Connie Jadrny, is the marketing and public relations coordinator for NDSU Distance and Continuing Education, a program of the Office of Teaching and Learning.
In more than 16 years at NDSU, Jadrny has learned a lot about the professional development needs of K-12 teachers.
In this series of posts, she intends to pass along bits of wisdom from the professional development industry.
Let’s learn together!