Teachers Gain Valuable Skills Through Additional Training
Teachers are always learning. While they spend the bulk of their school days with students in front of them, many teachers become students themselves throughout the year in professional development, webinar training, and credential and/or endorsement courses.
“If veteran teachers want an additional certificate in a different area or a specialized professional development endorsement to become a reading or math specialist, for example, they come back through our program,” said Dr. Jennifer Gresko, Faculty Chair of Rio Salado’s Educator Prep Programs.
“Classroom teachers look to build on their foundational skills from their initial certification coursework by taking their classroom experiences and pairing it with focused, reflective specializations leading to endorsements,” she said.
Endorsements can take anywhere from six to 30 credit hours. That may be a semester or “more depending on how many credits they want to enroll in each semester,” Gresko said.
Rio Salado offers endorsements in arts education, dance, dramatic arts, early childhood education, math, music, physical education, reading and SEI (Structured English Immersion), as well as Career and Technical Education (CTE). There are also non-credit professional development courses teachers can take online.
“Graduating 10 years ago - or even five years ago - teaching looks so different than it does today,” said Julie Ferin, Instructional Services Supervisor in Rio Salado College’s Educator Prep Program. “It’s important to us to have new strategies. We have the subject matter experts who are able to help us with changes in that area. They are constantly researching strategies that are working in the classroom. There are those tried-and-true strategies that we know work, but there are also benefits to looking at those new areas, like technology.”
Adults who hold bachelor’s degrees and are interested in learning more about entering the teaching profession can explore Rio Salado’s Teacher in Residence program, which provides a pathway for college graduates to earn their certification while working in a classroom.