Who Can Teach a Professional Development Class?
I often found that, in certain areas, there was a lack of available classes. This lack of classes wasn’t just at NDSU; this was a lack of classes in that specific content area for a lot of professional development programs. Or, at least, a lack of classes that were acceptable for their license or their district’s pay scale. At the time, it hadn’t occurred to me to ask if they or someone they knew were interested in teaching a class for us to help fill that void.
In more recent years, I have put a greater emphasis on asking individuals at the conferences I go to if they are interested in teaching a class for our office. There is a lot of expertise out there that could be tapped into, but often it is a matter of asking.
"There is a lot of expertise out there that could be tapped into, but often it is a matter of asking."
We currently have a selection of awesome, knowledgeable instructors who are offering some very important classes. Unfortunately, many of those courses are school or district exclusive. This can leave a void for smaller school districts with minimal staff or no staff trained in specific topics. It would be fantastic if we could open some of these classes to a larger audience of teachers.
The Distance and Continuing Education program offered through the Office of Teaching and Learning at NDSU can only offer courses that fill this void if we have individuals with expertise in those specific areas. From my previous experience speaking with many of you k-12 teachers out there, I know there is a wealth of expertise that NDSU could draw from. If you are looking for a way to help fellow teachers learn more about their profession, consider teaching a class for us.
And… considered yourself “asked”.
Here is what you need to know about the requirements for offering a professional development class.
You need to have enough time to prepare for the class, teach the class, grade assignments, and answer questions from your students. This requires a bit of spare time, but we do compensate our teachers.
Compensation has a lot of variables that determine how much you can earn. Read this post to get a better idea of all the different ways our professional development instructors can be compensated.
Some of our well-loved instructors earn a modest sum of money during their summers off. And, if done right, you can too!
A Desire to Help Others
As a teacher, you likely already have this value instilled in you. Often, you will have teachers in your class who are not from your school or district. This is where your desire to help others is important.
There are a lot of school districts regionally and statewide that do not have access to content experts, like yourself. They need someone who can not only teach them the material, but also serve as a resource for them. You may not get a lot of check-ins following a course, but knowing you are available as a resource can be reassuring for those trying to successfully implement a new lesson, curriculum, or teaching style.
A Master’s Degree
The classes we offer are high-quality because we ensure each instructor has a level of expertise in their subject matter before they teach a course.
If you are considering teaching a professional development class for us, this is the most essential requirement; you must have earned your Master’s degree. Many k-12 teachers, counselors, and administrators have their Master’s degree, so this isn’t usually a problem.
Having said that, there is a way you can contribute to a course if you do not have your Master’s degree. We understand there are individuals who happen to have a lot of experience in a topic, despite not having a Master’s degree. If you are an expert in any area of k-12 teaching you can serve as a guest lecturer in a class. This means you can present in your area of expertise, but another teacher with a Master’s degree would be the primary instructor for the course.
If you do not have a Master’s degree but are interested in obtaining one, NDSU has a good selection of programs from which to choose.
Get Your Course Approved
We would love to hear your ideas for a course or if you are willing to open up your school/district exclusive classes to teachers from other districts, let us know.
We have a professional development coordinator who can help walk you through the process. Or, read our post on the approval process for classes. We also offer a post on the things you need to think about when developing a professional development class.
"We have a professional development coordinator who can help walk you through the process."
As always, if you haven’t already done so, subscribe to our newsletter so we can continue to keep you informed of what is happening in k-12 professional development.
Before you go, tell us below, in the comments, what has been your favorite professional development class? What type of classes are your favorite? What mode works best for your lifestyle? Who are your favorite instructors? We want to hear about your professional development stories, so tell us below.
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 14 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!