Attending summer workshops enables educators to remain on the cutting edge of their profession. New methods for introducing curricula are often addressed. Concurrently, preschool teachers may brush up on basic classroom requirements, or work on their own particular strengths and weaknesses.
Who Should Attend?
Summer workshops allow the novice teacher to hone in on a skill set that either needs improvement or wants to be taken to the next level. It is also an excellent choice for the veteran educator who might be suffering from professional burnout and desires a fresh new way of presenting a tried and true curriculum.
It is interesting to note that these workshops sometimes also offer college credit, which makes them a good option for the aspiring preschool teacher who might not be completely convinced that this is the career choice to go after.
Websites for all of the workshops reviewed are in the resources section at the bottom of the article.
Perpetual Preschool(1) hosts self-study courses for preschool teachers. For a per-workshop payment of just $7 (for most), attendees of this distance learning option participate in any one course. Interaction with the instructor and fellow students takes place online. Upon successful completion of all assignments, the teacher receives a certificate of completion.
Depending on the preschool teacher’s state of residence, the clock hours may count toward the in-service licensing requirement. Examples of the available coursework include:
- Celebrating Diversity in the Classroom
- Language & Literacy Through Storytelling
- Pre-K Educators and the Internet
- Large Motor Development
- How to Observe & Document the Growth & Development of Young Children
- Building Strong Parent-Teacher Relationships
The California Science Center
Educators that attend in-person workshops at the California Science Center(2) learn the use of science and math in the classroom. The course material adheres to the State and National Science Standards, which makes it useful for application in any classroom.
The registration fee varies and in July, 2012, ranged between $40 for a one-day workshop, to $85 for a three-day workshop. Preschool teachers learn how to incorporate activities from a science curriculum into the everyday classroom setting. Topics include soil science, ecosystems, rain gardens, the scientific process, learning science through play, and much more.
The Carnegie Mellon Dalcroze Training Center
The Carnegie Mellon Dalcroze Training Center(3) offers copious summer sessions that assist preschool instructors, alongside other educators, with the implementation of the Dalcroze method, which relies on experiencing music with the help of movement.
Stretched over an 18-day period, two sessions address the needs of beginning and advanced students. The cost is steep -- $850 for a three-unit session and $1,950 for a nine-unit workshop – but the courses offer college credit to the tune of three and nine units respectively. Note that if you are able to plan early and book by March, the price is reduced by $50 and $75, respectively.
Sometimes Costly, but Always Worthwhile
Summer workshops are an investment that is worthwhile. Just like the art and science of education is not stagnant, neither is the delivery of curriculum lessons and the methodologies employed in the classroom.
As a matter of fact, staying on the cutting edge of advances in the educational field ensures that children receive the best possible instruction, starting in the preschool classroom.
Continuing teacher training also helps prevent common mistakes when using childhood assessment tools.