The summer months may mean time outside of the classroom, but for most teachers this does not mean complete detachment from teaching. The few short weeks New Hampshire teachers receive as summer vacation, 7 to 8 weeks for a majority of NH districts, is ideal for rest and relaxation but also provides a valuable opportunity for professional development.
All public teachers in NH are required to attend a minimum of 75 hours of continuing education plus an additional 30 hours for each additional teaching endorsement area every 3 years. These can be obtained in a variety of ways, one of which is by taking online classes. The advantages of online classes in the summer is that these can be attended from anywhere; home, the beach, while on vacation, at a coffee shop, allowing for time to enjoy the summer weather without the worry of attending class in a formal setting.
The Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Program and the NH e-Learning for Educators Project developed a short tutorial style class for bullying awareness that will fulfill the basic training that all state educators must complete. It is an on-your-own style online class that, when completed, provides a Certificate of Completion for 3 hours of professional development. To register, go to www.regonline.com/bullyingtutorial.
Another option, sponsored by the NH e-Learning for Eduators Project, is the summer session of OPEN NH courses. These are 35 hour courses completed during the 7 weeks of summer vacation that have graduate credits available through Plymouth State University. These classes are not free, but some districts pay for blocks of seats as part of their professional development options for teachers. Interested teachers should go to the web site at www.opennh.org or speak with their SAU for course options, dates, times and costs.