From summer programs in archaeology or Russian to teaching abroad for a year or more, there are so many opportunities available to you as a teacher this year. So get out your pen and circle your favorites, whether you plan to order that application right now or just dream of going next year. (You can find even more listings online at www.scholastic.com/instructor.)
Four Unique Programs
1. Become an Archaeologist
What it is: Time for playing in the dirt. The University of Alabama’s Museum of Natural History offers a scientific field program for teachers interested in archaeology, history, and natural science. Work alongside scientists in a hands-on exploration of Alabama’s diverse natural heritage. You’ll dig deep to discover archaeological remains buried at the Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. After a day in the dirt, explore the progressive community of Tuscaloosa.
Dates: Four different weeks in June are available. Check the Web site for details.
Cost: Program tuition is $200 for a mini-week (four days) or $400 for a full week (includes accommodation, food, and
2. Do Fieldwork in Maine
What it is: Summer camp for grown-ups. With daily trips to beautiful Arcadia National Park, the College of the Atlantic combines fieldwork, labs, and faculty lectures guaranteed to spark your interest in everything from geology and astronomy to botany and oceanography. Whether you’re on land, in Bar Harbor, or at sea, you’ll find countless ways to enrich your curriculum.
Dates: Two-week courses are available in June and July, or choose the one-week course later in the summer. Find specific dates on the Web site.
Cost: In-state tuition is $600 per week; out-of-state tuition is $800 per week; housing is available for $100–$200 weekly.
To learn more: www.coa.edu
3. Explore Mars’ Geology
What it is: A hands-on study of other planets right here on Earth. Spend the week visiting the site of ancient Glacial Lake Missoula in Montana with planetary scientists and increase your understanding of water flow, volcanism, glaciation, and sedimentation on Earth. Then apply what you’ve learned to interpreting what the surface features on Mars might be like. This NASA-sponsored field-based workshop is designed for middle school science teachers, although others may apply.
Dates: July 13–19
Cost: $700 (includes lodging, meals, and teaching materials); grants are available to cover registration.
To learn more: www.lpi.usra.edu/education/workshops
4. Tour the Taj Mahal
What it is: Budget travel for teachers and their friends. With Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO), visit schools in rural and urban India and see some of its most famous landmarks. You’ll hit the Taj Mahal, ride an elephant in the legendary pink city of Jaipur, and camp in the Rajasthan Desert. GEEO will help you find exciting ways to bring the knowledge you gain on your trip into the classroom.
Dates: August 1–20
Cost: $1,785 (plus travel costs)
To learn more: www.geeo.org
Five Cool Master’s Programs
1. C’est Bon
What it is: A full immersion experience—no passport required. Concordia Language Villages in Minnesota offers you the opportunity to brush up on Spanish, French, Japanese, or Russian, as well as gain critical cultural knowledge. Teachers can also earn a Master of Education in World Language Instruction from Concordia College by participating in two consecutive summer sessions and writing a thesis. Technology is integrated into the curriculum—so think iMovie, not flashcards.
Dates: June 22–July 2
Cost: Tuition is $1,560 for four semester hours of graduate credit; $682 for room
2. Go to Principal Academy
What it is: A chance to move from the teachers’ lounge to the front office in three short months. After spending 12 weeks taking classes at Columbia University’s Summer Principals Academy and completing an intensive internship, you’ll become licensed as a school administrator, opening new career opportunities. Between coursework and scouring New York’s shops, restaurants, and museums, you’ll fit right into the city that never sleeps.
Dates: June through July
Cost: Contact Columbia University for current tuition rates. Housing is available; rates vary from $45 to $75 per day.
Note: If you work in a high-needs school, you may qualify for up to $9,500 in tuition awards from AmeriCorps.
to learn more: www.tc.columbia.edu /summerprincipal
3. Write a Children’s Book
What it is: An opportunity to become the next Lois Lowry. Set in Virginia’s beautiful and historic Roanoke Valley, Hollins University is one of the few U.S. institutions to offer an M.A. and an M.F.A. in the study and writing of children’s literature. Over the period of three to five summers, you will become part of a writers’ community and engage in scholarly study of children’s literature. Learn from visiting speakers and writers-in-residence.
Dates: June 16–July 25
Cost: Tuition is $590 per credit hour; university housing is available for $860 for the six-week term.
To learn more: www.hollins.edu/grad/childlit
4. Take On TESOL
What it is: A focused way to help ESL students (and increase your hiring desirability). Earn a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MATESOL) from The New School in New York City. This pragmatic program focuses on the political, economic, cultural, and ethical implications of teaching English, and the degree can be earned entirely online or in conjunction with short-term summer residency in New York.
Dates: June 28–August 22
Cost: Tuition is $1,000 per credit hour; university housing is available.
To learn more: www.newschool.edu/matesol
5. Do it Online
While there are many travel programs to consider, there are also online degrees that you can “attend” no matter where you are. The University of New England has four innovative Science in Education MAs, which can be completed in eighteen months.
Dates: there are six annual starts throughout the year
Cost: varies depending on program
To Learn More: education.une.edu
Three Overseas Adventures
1. Switch Places
What it is: “Life Swap” for teachers. Through the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program, you swap teaching positions with an overseas counterpart. While you often teach the same subject at the same level, you will have the chance to do it in another country, such as France, the Czech Republic, India, or South Africa. In many locations, instruction occurs in English. Meanwhile, students at your home school will have the benefit of learning from a foreign instructor. Fulbright also offers exciting summer seminars in Italy and Greece.
Dates: Year-round; the exchange can be a year, a semester, or six weeks in length.
2. Pack Your Bags
What it is: The chance to trade
Toledo, Ohio, for Toledo, Spain. Approximately 35,000 professionals are employed in more than 700 American elementary and secondary schools abroad, according to the Overseas Placement service. To find out more, plan on attending one of the annual recruiting fairs sponsored by well-established placement services. There, you can meet school representatives and learn more about teachers’ typical salary and benefits (which may include a housing allowance, a vehicle, tuition discounts for dependents, and much more!).
Dates: Year-round; many schools offer two- or three-year contracts.
To learn more: Visit placement services such as International Schools Service at www.iss.edu or University of Northern Iowa Overseas Placement Service at www.uni.edu/placement /overseas.
3. Work With Military Kids
What it is: A government gig. The Department of Defense Education Activity operates 199 schools in 14 foreign countries, as well as Guam and Puerto Rico. All schools are fully accredited, and are staffed by over 8,700 educators. Like their stateside counterparts, DoDEA schools cater to the needs of the learner – whether it’s gifted programming, special education, or English as a Second Language instruction. Perks include a competitive salary, living allowance, and participation in the federal government’s retirement program. Not to mention the chance to live in a vibrant country overseas!
Dates: Year round; tours of duty are a minimum of one or two years in length
To learn more: www.dodea.edu
2 Backyard Surprises
1. Head to Your Local Zoo
What it is: A behind-the-scenes look at the monkey house. Very often, zoos offer professional development opportunities that you can take part in. At the St. Louis Zoo, for example, the education department staff will even work with you individually on designing hands-on lesson plans and inquiry-based curriculum units.
To learn more: www.stlzoo.org/education/forteachers/
2. Don’t Forget Community Colleges
What it is: An idea exchange with local experts. Many area colleges are eager to share their knowledge and equipment with K–12 teachers. For instance, the McDonald Observatory, at the University of Texas at Austin, offers workshops throughout the summer for educators. The best part? All participants receive full scholarships through NASA or the National Science Foundation!
Dates: The Age of the Milky Way, June 25-29, 2008; Chandra: Stellar Evolution, July 6-10, 2008, Light and Optics, July 28-30, 2008; Formation of Planetary Systems, August 3-6, 2008
Cost: Free. To learn more: mcdonaldobservatory.org/teachers/profdev
Choose Your Own Adventure!
What is it: The sky’s the limit. Apply for grants offered by local groups, professional organizations, or national foundations. With some Internet sleuthing, you’re bound to turn up grant opportunities that are available to you. For example, the Toyota TAPESTRY program has awarded over $7.5 million dollars to 900 teams of teachers to create innovative science projects for classroom use. Choose from three categories (physical science, environmental education, and integrating literacy and science) and submit your application today! To learn more: www.nsta.org/pd/tapestry