So Much PD, So Little Time (and money)

What a beautiful and terrible problem we have! There is SO much professional development available this summer and fall and yet… there is no funding in many cases. It becomes a matter of spending your hard earned dollars on the best PD for you.  So how do you decide?

  1. Proximity – Sometimes, when the funding just isn’t there, going to the closest offering is the best way to get a PD experience! Keep your eyes peeled for chances to get positive, proficiency based strategies close to home!
  2. Presenters you know – Follow blogs, follow people on Twitter, get to know people who think like you (or like you want to) and then go where they are! If you’re spending a lot of money to go, go where you can see someone who you are sure can help you refine your practice!
  3. Access to the presenters – Is the person you want to see presenting a single keynote or a series of 1.5 hour sessions? Will you have access to the presenters through structured reflection/down time/collaboration time?
  4. Reading materials – Which vendors are exhibiting, if any, and how can you use sessions and visits to the exhibits to build more reading into your classroom?
  5. Depth – Does this PD offer strategies from level 1 to AP? For example, I am a science nut, so I am always looking for ways to deepen my cross curricular (still story but also culture, music, and movie-based) units.

Summer, for me, is a time to recharge and part of that is getting excited about new material in my classroom! I hope that you treat yourself to that feeling this summer! Go back in August ready to try something new and going back to school won’t feel painful at all… well, maybe still a little… but hardly at all!

Check out Mike Peto’s master map of PD! And don’t miss IFLT July 17-20 in Cincinnati! There are only 30 spots left and I have literally had to turn people away crying from Martina Bex’s presentations! 🙂 Don’t let that be you!

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Author: senoracmt

I began teaching Spanish in Illinois in 1994. I have taught levels 1-4 in a small rural high school, 8th grade introductory Spanish, Biology 1, and 101 and 102 at the community college level. My Spanish classes are partnered with the community college to offer students 8 semester hours of dual credit on completion of Spanish 4. In 2011 I met Carol Gaab and Kristy Placido and have since co-authored the book "La hija del sastre" with Carol Gaab and authored the novels "La Calaca Alegre", "Bianca Nieves y los 7 toritos." "Vector," "48 horas" and "Bananas" through Fluency Matters. In 2006 I became National Board certified and I have been serving as a mentor both for candidates seeking certification in world languages other than English and a virtual mentor for candidates in all certificate areas. I completed my Masters degree in Spanish education in 2011 and did my research on the use of Understanding by Design to create meaningful cultural units for the language classroom. I am a frequent presenter on this topic, please consider me if you are interested in a workshop on backward design. In 2013 I was named the ICTFL Foreign Language teacher of the year and in 2014 I was selected as CSCTFL's teacher of the year. In November of 2014 I was lucky enough to be one of the five finalists for the ACTFL National Teacher of the Year in San Antonio, TX. What a "Cinderella" experience! You can reach me via email at senoracmt at

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