The School District of Palm Beach County provides courses funded entirely by the DOE.
Every five years, all Florida state teachers (of which there are approximately 200k) are tasked with having to renew their teacher certificate in order to continue in their position. And while they could take college courses at a brick-and-mortar institution, this can take up considerable time and the cost can be quite high. Oftentimes, a 60 point course can cost somewhere in the range of $1,000-$1,500. And with a total of 120 points needed to qualify for certification, it gets fairly expensive for teachers who are already quite expense sensitive. But there is a K-12 professional development solution for teachers looking to add to their certification but at no expense.
Palm Beach County provides alternative
Through funding by the Department of Education in Florida, the School District of Palm Beach County is able to provide two K-12 professional development courses free to Florida DOE certified teachers. If you’re an educator in the state of Florida, you may have already seen their marketing material at a PD conference, or through emails, mailings, postcards, flyers, sent to your school. If so, check the course here: http://www.tobaccopreventiontraining.org/.
Details about the course
Teachers who take the course can earn 60 or 30 teacher in-service credits (as approved by their school district) and be educated on strategies and methods for educating children about the dangers of tobacco use. These lessons provide insight into the best practices for helping children resist the pressures that come from the marketing of tobacco products as well as the pressure they might be feeling from friends. Helping children realize and recognize these pressures can empower them to make healthy decisions concerning tobacco and ultimately, to become more independent thinkers when it comes to their personal life choices. In SY19, the course will also address the recent e-Cigarette fad that poses its own health concerns. Not something to be taken lightly. Teachers will develop a lesson plan that they can take back to their schools, confident in knowing that they have the tools and skills required to make a positive impact on their students.
K-12 Professional Development online
There are many benefits to taking K-12 professional development courses online. On top of the obvious savings of money there is also a savings of travel expenses. Attending courses in a classroom means having to take the time to get there and back. Some PD classes may be even further away, adding to the cost. But when taking courses online, there is an online community there to assist. It’s easier for teachers from all across the state to communicate and pass on pedagogical advice, tactics, and best practices through online portals.
Palm Beach originally designed a course for their own district. But because of its effectiveness and quality, 12 years ago, the state asked that they provide their course offerings state-wide. The only hurdle for them now is to develop awareness among as many teachers as possible. So feel free to pass on this information to whoever you think might benefit from a free, online K-12 professional development course.