How often should a teacher improve his qualifications?
By law, teaching staff must undergo further training at least once every three years. However, the administration of an educational institution has the right to set its own “quality standards” by sending employees, for example, every two years to courses – in this case, this should be reflected in the local regulations.
At the same time, continuing education is not only a duty but also a teacher’s right. In other words, educational institutions must “create conditions” for the professional growth of employees – organize training for teachers, send them to courses with or without disability, and pay for travel costs if courses included in the “mandatory minimum” are held in another city, and so on. Further.
The form of continuing education is not regulated by law. They can be:
- full time,
- using remote technologies.
Until 2014, the minimum course duration for a teacher was 72 academic hours. Now, this requirement is no longer relevant – “in compensation” for the passage of short-term courses can be programs whose development period is 16 hours or more.
Who should pay for further education?
The costs of further training for teachers are included in the budget, and the board of the educational institution is not entitled to oblige the employee to pay independently for the courses that fall under the prescribed “minimum.”
The only exceptions are long (from 250 hours) retraining programs if it is about getting an education “from scratch.” This issue has become relevant with new professional standards for teachers, according to which pedagogical training is required to work with children. Therefore, graduates of, for example, biofacies of “academic” universities, who teach biology at school or engineers who lead technical circles for children, are confronted with the fact that their education no longer corresponds to their position. In this case, pedagogical retraining takes place at the employees’ expense – the educational organization has the right to finance the training in whole or in part but is not obliged to do so.
Suppose an employee has received pedagogical training, but the school board wants him to “expand his profile,” master a related profession and teach new subjects. In that case, retraining should be at the expense of the educational organization.
How to get advanced training at a budget expense?
The most common option for continuing education courses is from an educational institution. In most cases, these are in-person or part-time courses, which are taught:
- Continuing Teacher Training Institutes,
- continuing education departments of universities,
- city methodological centers,
- educational institutions that have the status of information centers or experimental sites.
As a rule, an educational institution has a quota within which they send teachers to study at budgetary costs. Sometimes the teacher is asked to choose a course from the list independently, and sometimes a specific program is offered. In most cases, teachers have the opportunity to “take the initiative” – having familiarized themselves with the list of programs in advance, choose something interesting for themselves and ask them to refer him to this particular course.
Courses can be devoted to teaching specific disciplines and more “universal” things – for example, project activities, inclusive education, interactive teaching methods, increasing students’ creative activity, working on federal-state educational standards, and so on. In addition, special courses are usually given to young teachers to introduce them to the specialty.
Free Distance Learning Courses for Teachers
Free online courses are another increasingly popular option for teacher training courses. When choosing a distance course, you should pay attention to whether a certificate of the established form is issued, which is “credited” in an educational institution, or when obtaining a certification. In some cases, the training on distance courses is free, but you will have to pay for the preparation of “crusts” on the completed training (as a rule, we are talking about small amounts that are not comparable to the cost of commercial courses).
Online courses can be permanent or take place in specific periods – in this case, and their registration will be opened in advance. Training may include studying text material independently, watching video lectures, preparing theses, etc.
For example, can take free distance learning courses for teachers at the following resources that award state sample diplomas to successful listeners:
- Educational portal “My University” (Moi-universitet.ru), where both paid and free courses on modern learning technologies are given;
- The Foxford Online Learning Center (http://foxford.ru), which offers a wide variety of courses in Olympiad preparation in various subjects, the details of Unified State Exam preparation and the State Examination Agency;
- The UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (http://lms.iite.unesco.org) specializes in courses in emerging technologies and open educational resources.