Teachers learn new skills participating in summer enrichment programs currently taking place all across the nation.
While summer vacation is allowing teachers and students a break, some educators are learning new skills and enjoying new learning opportunities participating in summer enrichment programs. These classes are taking place across the nation. Teachers who wish to use a portion of their break to grow new skills and revitalize classroom initiatives are taking full advantage of the opportunity.
The University of Florida is offering one of these enrichment programs to pass on new knowledge that can benefit students. It is hosted by the school’s Thompson Earth Systems Institute’s Scientist in Every Florida School Program and is free for teachers. Attendees had to apply and were selected based on their interest in the subject and their classroom experience. A $2,500 stipend is offered once completed, as this specific learning experience was designed mainly for educators who teach in districts that serve low-income families and receive Title I funds.
The National Endowment for Humanities is another popular enrichment program, and probably the best known. Teachers wishing to expand their science, history, and art knowledge are offered plenty of new exciting ways to engage students during lessons through this Federal organization. This year’s program is hosting events exploring many subjects, including one centered on the work and life of author John Steinbeck, at Stanford University.
In previous years various topics have been introduced to revitalize teaching practices. The information passed on gives teachers the encouragement they need to continue making a positive impact in the lives of their students. From courses centered on the history of the transcontinental railroad to the power of storytelling, various schools across the country have partnered with the National Endowment for Humanities in order to provide teachers with enrichment programs that drive their passion to make the learning process fun and informative.
During the pandemic, an enrichment program to aid teachers in understanding the history of migration and the struggles that many migrants face was held virtually. One historian, and teacher in particular was so compelled by the program that not only was she able to use what she learned to help teach English-learning students in her Kentucky high school class, but it sparked her own program exploring the life and work of Emma Lazarus, American author, poet, and advocate for offering refugees support and charity. She earned a National Geographic Society grant to fund this program after her experiences being accepted to her first enrichment program.
Many teachers have gained new skills and positive experiences through summer enrichment programs. Educators serving students at any age can apply and many find themselves better prepared for the coming school year upon completion. K-12 teachers are able to seek out various offerings on many subjects which are often offered for free or at low costs.
Teachers serving middle school and high school students seem to benefit the most from what they learn during their summer enrichment programs because older children are going through so many changes that added teaching tactics can better engage them. While some of these classes merely expand history and science lessons, some are even branching into the ever-growing STEM projects, so hands-on learning opportunities are also a great option. Whether teachers take a single summer to learn new skills and concepts, or continue frequenting these events every year, they are keeping educators connected to new learning methods, and thus, aiding students by ensuring that knowledgeable teachers remain in the profession.