We recently wrote a post about educational programs that can help teachers hone their skills and add to their credentials over the coming summer months.

Today, we would like to widen our lens a little and explore still more opportunities for teachers to learn this summer. These programs can help you get energized and ready for your classroom to open again in the fall or 2021. And you’ll be happy to hear that most of the opportunities we list below are free.

Educational Programs for Teachers at National Parks

If you explore websites of our national parks, you will find a rich variety of free or low-cost educational programs for teachers. One example? Yellowstone Park’s summer workshops for teachers. Be sure to investigate this program, and others like it.

Programs at Local Science Centers

Many are free, and some even pay a stipend to teachers who take part. One example? The Liberty Science Center in New Jersey offers a range of professional development programs for teachers. There is even a special workshop on best practices for teaching with Zoom.

Summer Work and Education at Local Employers

If companies in your area employ people who work in your area of expertise, that could be an opportunity to learn in a real-world, professional setting. The Mayo Clinic’s Center for Clinical and Transactional Science, for example, offers a variety of programs in the health sciences.

Learning Opportunities at Museums and Arts Institutions

Art, history, and other museums are starting to open their doors again. Performing arts organizations are lagging behind in reopening, due to limitations that have been placed on audience size. Yet many cultural institutions offer teachers opportunities to learn. The Art Institute of Chicago, for example, offers a wide variety of resources for educators. This video provides an excellent, easy-to-digest overview:

Programs at Zoos and Aquariums

If you’re a science teacher, a program offered by a zoo or an aquarium near you might let you learn valuable skills, as well as gain insights about different classes of animals. You’ll find unusual resources at the San Diego Zoo, for one example, which offers a variety of online experiences that you and your students can learn from together.

Jobs at Businesses in Your Area

So . . . what would you like to learn? Whether you would like to gain skills in marketing, production engineering, or nearly anything else, don’t forget that working at companies in your area could provide you with valuable new insights and skills that you can bring back to your classroom next fall.

The pandemic is loosening its grip on our country and our world. Learning new skills and gaining new insights over the summer months can reinvigorate your teaching career and give you an exciting new start.

Please note . . .

The programs we mention in today’s post are only a small sampling of hundreds that are available to teachers this summer. Our hope is that they will spark your interest in looking further and finding more that are suited to your ambitions and needs. Happy teaching!

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