Sitting through boring, irrelevant professional development sessions is awful. How many times have you spent an entire session thinking about all of the better ways you could be using your time? I suppose the one positive thing about terrible professional development is that it makes the rest of your day seem more exciting and useful in comparison.
Educators deserve better. We deserve autonomy over our professional learning and access to the kind of learning that WE believe will improve our practice. In South Carolina, we have seen mandates force us to take courses we would never choose on our own. If that weren't bad enough, most of us were forced to pay for those courses out of our own pockets. By dictating to us how we must grow our professional practice, we are stripped of our voice and choice. This has to end! Fortunately, The SCEA and NEA are here to help solve this problem. The NEA now offers over 175 micro-credentials to our members. This is a HUGE benefit of membership. For those new to micro-credentials, these are short, competency-based recognitions that allow an educator to demonstrate mastery in a particular area. NEA micro-credentials are grounded in research and best practice and designed to be:
Personalized: You can create your own learning journey, based on your interests and career goals; gaps in your skills; and the specific needs of your students, school, and district.
Flexible: You can study when it’s convenient for you, alone or with your peers.
Performance-based: Unlike “sit-and-get” certifications, NEA micro-credentials are awarded based on demonstrated mastery of the subject matter, not just for showing up.
The NEA organizes these micro-credentials into "stacks." Within each stack you will find specific micro-credentials related to the stack topic. As you complete these micro-credentials, you not only collect renewal credits, you also can add these credentials to your resume.
Sample NEA Stack & Micro-Credentials
The SCEA is also hosting a series of webinars throughout the year. These are free and open to ALL South Carolina public educators. The SC Department of Education has stated that districts can grant educators renewal credits for NEA's micro-credentials. They recommend a minimum of 12 renewal credits per earned micro-credential. The SCEA will also issue you a certificate of completion for each of our webinars you attend. We recommend that you consult with your school's or district's certification specialist to discuss the acceptance of renewal credits. Together, The SCEA and NEA are working to elevate professional learning for all teachers. By providing choice and quality, educators can get excited about honing their craft, and this will help us build the schools our students deserve.