Professional Development

NAA publishes fresh, new content every week covering a wide variety of topics related to the field of aftershool. In addition, NAA offers a variety of opportunities for virtual professional development (PD) through meaningful content, conversations and connections. Click here to see full descriptions of virtual PD offerings.

Don’t Wait for Good PD—Go Out and Find It!

In my role at the National AfterSchool Association, one of my key responsibilities is to plan professional development. So I think about professional development A LOT, which is why a recent EdSurge article, "Why Good Professional Development Is Crucially Linked to an Educator's Attitude," by Glenda I. Lozada Negron, caught my attention.

Negron defines PD as "a process that responds to a phase of personal growth and self-realization experienced by each individual," and that it "allows a person to establish an itinerary of evolution, taking into account the person's work experience, acquired knowledge and vocation"—YES!

Negron writes that, "the teacher is a worker who develops a set of interpersonal relationships, and therefore has to invest in his or her own self—personally and emotionally—in order to ensure educational excellence"—EXACTLY! This content articulates how I've always felt about myself as a teacher and an afterschool professional, as well as my thoughts on professional development. Throughout the article I found myself nodding my head in agreement, and then I started thinking: How does this apply to afterschool and the work we do at NAA?

Negron concludes with, "Don't Wait for Good PD—Go Out and Find It!" At NAA, we agree! We are committed to meeting afterschool professionals where they are and providing them with PD resources and opportunities that vary in level of commitment and intensity based on individual and program needs. Whether you are looking for resources to develop yourself or the people on your team, you are sure to find something helpful in the opportunities below:

Self-directed Learning Opportunities

Social media: Engage with us to learn about latest trends and ideas in afterschool!

eNews: Weekly editions featuring articles about current events and topics geared toward inspiring and equipping afterschool professionals.

AfterSchool Today magazine: NAA's Official Publication is published quarterly. Print editions are mailed to Executive-level members and a digital version is emailed to Ambassador members. Make sure to join NAA to not miss a single issue of this excellent resource!

Short, Structured Professional Learning Opportunities

TurnkeyPD: Resources to host relevant PD discussions on a variety of topics.

Convention: Annual event with 170+ workshops (20 percent STEM-related) inspirational and informative general sessions, and networking opportunities.

Longer, Targeted, Professional Learning Opportunities

Out-of-School Time Professional Development Center: Hundreds of eLearning courses, offered in partnership with Cypherworx, Inc. includes a 36 -course series with in-depth curriculum content, interactivity and certificates. Approved in most states.

STEM Micro-Credentials and Digital Badges: Piloting training and coaching to develop and recognize STEM facilitation competency.

Written by Heidi Ham, National AfterSchool Association Vice President of Programs and Strategy.