Below you’ll find information on easily accessible, affordable online professional development for teachers.
I’m excited to be partnering with ChildCare Education Institute. As always, all opinions are my own.
Teaching is hard. Something tells me you already know this.
We put a lot of our time and effort into creating engaging, age-appropriate lessons and activities for our students. That’s a lot of planning, gathering materials, prepping, and interacting with the children.
But that doesn’t cover everything involved in teaching, does it? There are staff meetings, parent communication, paperwork, cleaning, and more.
When added on top of our personal lives (and that thing called sleep!), there isn’t always a lot of room for professional development. But when it comes down to it, professional development courses can have a big impact on our teaching and our students.
Plus, many of us are mandated to keep up with professional development – whether by our schools, our local districts, or our state licensing boards.
So it’s important that we stay on top of our professional development amid planning, teaching, and other personal and professional responsibilities.
I’d heard about ChildCare Education Institute from friends and was so excited to explore their courses.
A Peek into Online Professional Development for Teachers
Before I delve into the specifics of the course I took, I wanted to share some basic information about ChildCare Education Institute. This way, you’ve got a good overview about them and why I’m looking forward to sharing them with you.
Online Professional Development for Teachers in Early Childhood Classrooms
Sometimes it can be difficult to find quality professional development courses specifically for early childhood educators.
This is one of the reasons I was impressed as I dug into the course information at CCEI. There are a very wide-range of courses that early childhood teachers would be interested in.
I’ve had my fair share of online professional development for teachers. Some were great, while some were only so-so. So it was nice to see so many choices available.
I especially appreciated that they have classes for people working with various ages. There are courses focused on infants and toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children. Early childhood isn’t just comprised of four year old kids, so it’s nice that their courses apply to the varied ages early childhood educators work with.
There are also courses centered on administration and management, but I didn’t look into those as closely. I’m not a Spanish speaker, but I was happy to see the number of courses available in Spanish.
Here are a few of the topics that interested me (there are over 150 training courses to choose from):
- Positive Guidance
- Establishing Trauma Informed Practices
- Creating a Multicultural Environment
- Brain Development and Learning
- Building Literacy Through Nursery Rhymes
- Effective Classroom Meetings
Honestly, there were so many courses to choose from that I had trouble narrowing down which one to take first.
Easily Accessible Online Professional Development for Teachers
As I mentioned above, we are busy people. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s hard for me to set aside hours and hours of time for professional development.
I was incredibly happy to find that the courses offered from ChildCare Education Institute are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long.
This means we can get access to professional development classes whenever we need them. Maybe it’s during planning time at school or in the evenings after our own kids are in bed. I may or may not have taken my first class at home while still in my pajamas.
CCEI’s classes don’t have to be finished in one fell swoop, which was a big plus me. So you can work on your professional development when you have 20 or 30 minutes here and there if needed.
Budget-Friendly Online Professional Development for Teachers
I couldn’t talk about professional development for teachers without talking about money, could I? This is definitely a big consideration when I’m looking into classes to take, I have to admit.
CCEI is definitely aware that teachers are keeping an eye on their pocket books, and they have a few different options for funding professional development. Teachers can pay per hour or even sign up for an individual annual training subscription that gives unlimited access to their courses (this is the option I’m looking at).
Even better, they have a way for childcare centers and preschools to sign up for center-based annual training subscriptions. What a great opportunity for schools to help their teachers keep up with professional development!
CCEI adds 30 hours of new content each year, too, so there’s always something new to learn.
My Personal Experience
As I mentioned above, I had a tough time deciding on which course to try first. But I did eventually choose to take “Building Literacy Through Nursery Rhymes and Children’s Poetry”. I love discussing how to teach rhyming, and I knew this class would be a good for me.
Honestly, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this course. I did research ChildCare Education Institute quite a bit ahead of time. But I was still a little unsure.
I have to say, I was definitely very impressed with the course! It started off with an explanation and overview of the class, as well as its objectives.
CCEI provided a PDF handout which is perfect for people like me who like to take notes with paper and pen. If you don’t like that, you can always just refer to the digital version of the handout.
A Breakdown of the Course
The class was made up of reading broken down into easy-to-understand sections, but it wasn’t solely made up of reading. There were response questions – some to activate my own prior knowledge and some to assess my understanding throughout the course. There were also some videos directly related to the class. The course included outside links for even further exploration of the topic, too.
There was a great overview of nursery rhymes, poetry, and (best of all) real discussion of how to apply this within an early childhood classroom. Having a good discussion at the end about using nursery rhymes and poetry with different ages (infants, toddlers, preschoolers, etc.) was helpful. I like courses that give me ideas and inspirations that can be applied right away.
Once the course was over, there was a short exam to complete. CCEI allows up to 10 “attempts” to pass the final exam with a 70% or higher grade before you have to take the course again. I think that’s fantastic flexibility, especially if you’re not a test taker.
Overall, I walked away very very happy with my professional development experience with CCEI! I’m not surprised that 99% of students say they’d recommend these courses.
But now I have to decide which course to take next.
Your Online Professional Development
Now that I’ve shared all of my thoughts, let’s talk about you.
Take a moment and think about your own professional development needs. How much time do you have, and what’s your personal (or professional) budget? What topics are you interested in?
No matter your answers to those questions, I urge you to take a look at ChildCare Education Institute. Look into if their courses are approved for your needs, as well. They have a handy chart with links to each of the states in the US to help you determine approval if your administrator can’t answer that.
I whole-heartedly recommend CCEI. My experience was a very positive one, and I have to admit I loved taking a professional development class at home in my pajamas. CCEI’s online professional development for teachers is varied, high-quality, and very thorough.
Follow Fun-A-Day on Pinterest for more resources for early childhood educators.
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