I am one of “those” teachers – you know the kind. The one who comes in early and stays later than most. The one who takes work home and is up late working on new ideas and activities for her students. And the one who spends her weekend attending conferences and professional development opportunities.

You, like me, might even be an educator like this, too.

I had a colleague ask me recently why I would give up my weekend to attend events I’m not compensated for – why I would give up time with my family and kids to go to weekend PD. And the answer came easily…

It’s my job.

Since transitioning into my new role as a Technology TOSA this past year, I’ve learned a lot about myself – and the kind of teacher I need to be, not only for the hundreds of students I serve, but also for their teachers. I considered myself pretty tech savvy before starting this position. But what is considered tech savvy one year could be obsolete the next, as I’ve learned in the 8+ years I have been using 1:1 technology in the classroom. And I don’t claim to know it all…which is why I like to spend my time learning from others who know a lot more than I do.

So, yes…I am one of “those” teachers that actively look for professional development opportunities. I jump for joy when I find events that are free and willingly bite the (financial) bullet for those that are not.

If I’m going to be the best teacher I can be, I HAVE to know what’s going on in other classrooms, see what other teachers are doing, and take my new knowledge and apply it to my own classrooms. If I want to continue to be a source of inspiration or information for my school sites, I need to give up a part of my weekend (every once in a while) to build that knowledge base and hone the skills I already have. It’s the kind of thing that comes with the territory…and I’m happy to do so if others benefit from it.

For those interested in sharpening your skills, here are some upcoming professional development opportunities:

Beach Cities CUE Tech Fest 2019: $15, Westerly School of Long Beach, May 4th

CUE BOLD Symposium: $99-129, Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, May 4th-5th

Computer Science Community Summit: FREE; Riverside County Office of Education, May 11th

Computer Science Fundamentals – Deep Dive Workshop: FREE, Los Angeles County Office of Education, June 8th


About Kristin Oropeza
Kristin is a full-time special education teacher, contract consultant, and educational content writer. She is a Google Certified Teacher (Level 1 and 2), Google Certified Trainer, and MIE Expert for 2020-2021.