Professional Development

Effective professional development opportunities involve collaboration with members of the greater educational and scientific communities. Professional networking can be accomplished in meetings and workshops, or via online communications. These are some opportunities to consider.

  • AACT membership, which includes webinars (two to four per month during the school year; free for general public, archive available to members only) and discounts to some science teacher meetings and workshops.
  • Chemistry Teacher Day at ACS national meetings
  • Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE) (summer in even years)
  • ChemEd (summer in odd years)
  • ChemEdX conferences
  • Regional ACS meetings (throughout the year; check meeting programs for details)
  • NSTA conferences and events

Teachers can be overwhelmed with day-to-day activities and find themselves unable to take advantage of additional opportunities, no matter how worthy or needed. Therefore, school administrators and districts should provide teachers with release time during their workday or with stipends for opportunities to make professional development activities truly available to teachers.

 

Professional Organizations and Resources

Membership and active participation in professional organizations can provide chemistry teachers with a host of opportunities to network with other education professionals on multiple levels.

These organizations provide continued learning, classroom resources, workshops, articles, grant announcements, and online courses. They provide teachers with ideas and activities for their classes as well as ways to improve their own pedagogy and content knowledge. Being an active member, using online resources, and attending local, state, or national conferences associated with such professional organizations are great ways to stay current in the profession.

Specifically for chemistry teachers, AACT makes available a number of resources for the classroom, and the ACS/AACT Science Coaches program provides partnership with a chemist,  which can include content and practice.

In addition to ACS, here are some select national associations and professional development organizations, that provide a variety of support materials and opportunities for chemistry teachers at all levels:

ACS has local sections, which may have an associated teacher group. There are also regional science or chemistry education groups that teachers can find in their area. NSTA has some local sections that sponsor chemistry teacher organizations, and some areas have independent organizations. Often, areas with a local college or university may offer on-campus science education presentations and workshops for teachers, which may provide networking opportunities.