Summer Professional Development For Teachers

If you’re a teacher on a traditional school-year calendar, summer is the best time for professional development.

No classes, no students, no extracurricular activities, no homework to correct – time for you to focus on you!

In most school districts, you can earn professional development credits and continuing education credits in a variety of ways, and these can lead to boosts in your salary.

In each school district throughout the United States, pay scales and credit given for professional development and completion of CEUs varies, so it’s important to check with your district before you invest a lot of time and money.

Using the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in California as an example, here’s what’s considered professional development for teachers, that counts towards “salary points”:

Courses Taken At Higher Education Institutions
If you take a class from an accredited university or college (including community colleges) you can receive professional development credit and salary points with the LAUSD. In the past, the LAUSD required that the college courses you completed were related to your current assignment, but they’ve since waived that stipulation. In LAUSD’s calculations, a semester unit of college credit is the equivalent of one salary point; a quarter unit of college credit is the equivalent of 2/3s of a salary point.

Salary Point Credit Courses
The Joint Salary Point Committee approves salary point classes for the LAUSD, and Education For Equity is an approved vendor. All of our online professional development courses for teachers qualify for 1 salary point, 2 salary points, or 3 salary points with the LAUSD.

These online courses are self-paced and can be taken any time of the year, but we always see an increased interest in the summer, when teachers have more time for professional development.

Professional Development
In the LAUSD system, you can earn one salary point for every 30 hours of professional development. The LAUSD uses a formula that one continuing education unit (CEU) equals 10 hours. So, if you take a course that awards 3 CEUs, that’s the equivalent of 30 hours of professional development, which translates to 1 LAUSD salary point earned. It’s important to note that LAUSD only counts professional development if it’s completed during unpaid time, which makes summer the ideal time for teachers to earn CEUs.

The LAUSD also awards salary points for 14 days of travel, provided that it’s at least 300 miles from your home. It’s important to note, however, that you need to submit documentation before you travel. Given that summer is the perfect time to travel to many locales, why not earn professional development credit while you’re on vacation!

In the LAUSD pay scale system, earning 98 LAUSD salary points in ten years can translate to significantly higher career earnings and retirement pay.

How can professional development benefit you as a teacher? Check with your school district for details about what qualifies as professional development, how it will impact your pay and retirement benefits, and what you need to do to submit proof of completion.

If you put your summer to good use by earning credit for professional development, you could get paid for it. Not necessarily immediately, but in the form of future pay increases and higher retirement pay.

To illustrate how rewarding professional development can be, under the LAUSD pay scale and salary point scale, teachers who earn 98 salary points early in their careers can earn up to $400,000 more than their counterparts who earn no credits, and their base pay can be up to 50% higher at retirement.

Need more motivation to participate in professional development this summer? Check with your school district, to see how continuing education courses could impact your income, and then dive in!