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4 Summer Professional Development Opportunities for Civic Educators in 2019

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They say summer bodies are made in the winter. The same could be said for summer professional development plans.

The summer is a great time to take a week or two to hone your craft and learn something new, and it can be nice to delve into a topic head first. There are a number of different professional development opportunities available for civic educators in the summer, and most of them have deadlines in or around February.

Here’s a list of four great options for professional development that you should look into for this summer.

Gilder Lehrman Teacher Institutes

Every year, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History hosts two or three dozen seminars on topics in American History. Many of them explore topics that are related to themes that are important for civics education.

Each Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar is a week long, and you’ll receive free housing and a travel stipend. You’ll be on the hook for a small amount – a $50 registration fee and a set of books – but the cost to you is well worth the experience.

Check out some of the different topics that Gilder Lehrman is exploring in this year’s teacher seminars and apply now – the deadline is February 18.

National Endowment of Humanities Summer Seminars for Teachers

The National Endowment of Humanities also funds a series of summer seminars and institutes each year. About three dozen of these seminars are intended for K-12 educators, while the rest are for university educators.

The length of each seminar varies from one to four weeks. If accepted, you’ll receive a stipend that should cover your travel, lodging, and expenses throughout the course of the institute. If you’re savvy enough to spend less than the stipend amount, you can keep the rest – or you can splurge on some sight seeing and souvenirs while you’re traveling for the seminar.

Check out some of the topics that the NEH Summer Seminars are exploring this year and apply before the March 1 deadline.

C-SPAN Teacher Fellowship

The C-SPAN Teacher Fellowship is, in my opinion, hands down the best professional development opportunity a civic educator can find. It’s a highly competitive position, but if you’re selected you’ll spend the month of July working at C-SPAN in Washington, D.C. – curating resources from their video library, developing lesson plans for their website, and facilitating professional development conferences.

Teacher Fellows are compensated with a generous stipend. It’s more than enough to cover your travel and lodging, plus some. You’re essentially working for the month, and the stipend reflects that. Not only is this a great learning opportunity, but it can replace other summer employment you might need to budget through the summer months.

Read more about the C-SPAN Teacher Fellowship here and apply before the March 1 deadline.

C-SPAN Educator Conferences

If you’re looking for a shorter time commitment, how about a fully funded, two-day conference in Washington, D.C.?

C-SPAN hosts two summer educator conferences in July – one for middle school teachers and one for high school teachers. These are a much shorter commitment than the monthlong fellowship or the other seminars listed above, but it’s still an incredible experience.

You’ll travel to Washington, D.C., explore the C-SPAN offices, hear from staff in different parts of the organization, and learn about the plethora of free resources available for educators on C-SPAN’s websites. You’ll also attend a fancy dinner with a guest speaker of interest to social studies and civics teachers.

Read more about the C-SPAN Summer Educator Conference here and apply before the April 5 deadline.

What Are Your Plans for Summer 2019?

Are you planning on applying for one of these four summer professional development opportunities this year? Do you have another awesome PD lined up?

Drop a comment below and let us know. This list is by no means exhaustive, and we’d love to add other opportunities that can be shared with our readers.

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