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Topic: How much Professional Development money do you have to use this school year?
Working at international schools has its perks, that’s for sure. One of those perks is getting an annual Professional Development allowance (well at most international schools). Public-school teaching back in your home country does have it moments of getting PD for its teachers, but typically that money is being decided on by somebody other than you! At international schools, you are (mostly) in charge of your own personal PD monies and how you want to use that money. It is important to note that international schools do dictate some of the PD for their own teachers (e.g. for in-house PD), but the other PD money (the money that hopefully you are getting as part of your contract) is for you to use on your own PD theme and topic.
It is so important for our careers to keep learning new things in the field of education. Luckily there are numerous PD options for international school teachers. There is the annual ECIS conference (who’s going to Nice this year?). Maybe you live in Asia and are planning on going to the annual EARCOS conference in Kota Kinabalu. Some international schools are leading the way and hosting their own conferences like NIST International School. They recently have started their annual ELLSA Conference in Bangkok.
If conferences aren’t looking the best this year, then there are still many other options for international schools teachers on which to use their personal PD allowance. The Creativity Workshop has been very popular this past year as well as the staple Teachers College Summer Institutes (Reading and Writing) in New York.
Wherever you end up going this year, you are bound to learn a few new things and get inspired for your return back to work. You are also bound to run into some people who you know in the international school community; good times catching up with former colleagues. Going to these conferences and workshops are also a great place to network and meet others teachers in your field. It can be quite helpful having some new peers to contact when you want to get some feedback on something or learn more about a new technology that person is using for example.
The main problem though in getting to these workshops and conferences is money. Not only do you have to pay for the conference registration fee, you must also pay for your flight to get there and the hotel. Many times one year of PD money is not enough to get you to a conference every year. Some teachers can save their PD money from one year and add it one to the next one (up to three years typically). If you don’t have enough money to attend a certain workshop, then it doesn’t hurt to ask your boss if there might be any PD money around that you can use to help you pay for the rest of costs involved. Your administration might say no to you, but they also might say yes! It’s worth a try.
All international schools handle their PD allowance differently, so let’s share about the international schools we know about. Go ahead and vote on How much Professional Development money do you have to use this school year? Go to the homepage of International School Community and submit your vote today! You can check out the latest voting results here.
We actually have a comment topic related this to this issue. It is called: Professional development allowance details.
Right now there are over 180 individual comments (about 100s of different international schools) in this comment topic on our website. Here are a few of them:
“In general, the school has a four-tiered approach: in-house PD, required external PD, goal related PD and personal professional support.
Upon school approval staff have access to a personal professional development sum that can be used annually or accrue for up to three years.” – Anglo American School of Sofia (Sofia, Bulgaria) – 28 Comments
“Professional development is a strong focus. Quality of in-house varies wildly as it does in every school. Lots of training for IB available and all IB teachers go on prep courses as soon as possible.” – Nexus International School (Putrajaya, Malaysia) – 44 Comments
“PDs are usually done in-house therefore there is no structured amount for PD per teacher. Principals are up to date regarding international and local PDs so when there is an appropriate PD some teachers are selected to attend. Teachers, on the other hand, can always search for possible and appropriate local/international PDs.” – Royal Tots Academy (Jakarta, Indonesia) – 35 Comments