Contrary to popular belief, many educators do not spend their summers sleeping in or lounging by the pool. For most, the summer months are the busiest of the year as they work summer school, prepare curriculum for the upcoming year and continue their professional development (PD).

Fortunately, there are many ways for educators to expand their knowledge besides attending workshops and taking courses. Here are four simple ideas to help educators to grow professionally during the summer break:

  • Read: Books are a great source for PD! Gina Warner, executive director of the National AfterSchool Association, recommends 10 insightful books for the afterschool professional.
  • Learn to code: An article from Edutopia.com suggests that learning how to code helps educators develop a growth mindset, improves their confidence with technology and reiterates that failure is a part of the learning process.
  • Explore social media: Don’t underestimate the value of social media! Fellow educators, advocates and researchers are sharing valuable information through social media networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest. Search hashtags, such as #edchat and #afterschool, to join insightful discussions, or follow educational boards on Pinterest to find tons of activity and lesson-plan ideas.
  • Network: Take this opportunity to connect with educators in your field. Organize a meet-up with educators from the school and local community, or join a personal learning network (PLN) to share ideas, challenges and successes.

This summer, indulge in PD from the comfort of your sofa or the poolside with these simple, low-cost ideas. How do you plan to continue professional development during the summer break?