Grow as an Educator by Pursuing a Summer Professional Development Opportunity

Launch Into Summer Blog Series

The summer can be a valuable time for educators to pursue professional development opportunities, connect with other education professionals, and update themselves on innovative practices in education and education technology.

This blog post is part of our Launch Into Summer Blog Series. Stay tuned for future posts on how entrepreneurs, educators, parents, and students can crush the summer break.


From sitting in on a class at the Boston Athenæum to touring the globe as a Fulbright summer fellow, there are a ton of professional development opportunities that educators can take advantage of over the summer. Pursuing a professional development opportunity not only allows you to explore an interesting topic and grow as an educator, but it also allows you to bring that experience back to the classroom and your students.


Shameless plug: The LearnLaunch Summer Showcase is just a month away on Wednesday, July 17th! Our annual summer showcase is a unique opportunity for educators to network and try out some of the latest technologies serving the education sector. Over thirty edtech startups will be in attendance to showcase their innovative products. The event is completely FREE for teachers and is here at the LearnLaunch campus.


We gathered a list of just some of the many conferences, grants/fellowships, and professional development courses that educators can pursue this summer.

Conferences – Nationwide

SCASA: 2019 Innovative Ideas Institute

Cost: $535

Location: Myrtle Beach, SC

Dates: June 16 -19

The SCASA Innovative Ideas Institute is a leadership development conference for public school leaders in South Carolina and other southeastern states. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about trends and new strategies, preview some of the most cutting edge products and services available to schools and districts,and network and learn from their colleagues’ professional successes.


PBL World

Cost: $1,150+

Location: Napa Valley, CA

Dates: Jun 18 – 20

PBL World is an opportunity for K-12 educators and school leaders to connect and learn about the newest practices in project-based learning.


ISTE 2019

Cost: $635

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Dates: Jun 23 – 26

The International Society for Technology in Education Conference is one of the largest global edtech conferences in the nation. Attendees will hear about the latest trends in education technology and stories from some of the boldest leaders in education.


ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence

Cost: $588

Location: Orlando, FL

Dates: June 25 – 27

The ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence introduces educators to “creative, strengths-based strategies to build resilience in all children, including those affected by trauma, so that they achieve in their schools, communities, relationships, and future careers.”


School Climate and Culture Forum

Cost: $525

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Dates: Jul 9 – 12

The School Climate and Culture Forum showcases evidence-based programs, assessments, and tools that improve school culture and climate.


Making Schools Work Conference

Cost: $500

Location: Baltimore, MD

Dates: July 10 – 13

The Making Schools Work Conference is centered around student success and achievement, and draws in K-12 teachers, counselors, principals, technology center directors and state and district education agency personnel.


New Tech Annual Conference 2019

Cost: $1,275

Location: Orlando, FL

Dates: Jul 15 – 19

The New Tech Network Annual Conference is a unique opportunity to connect with other teachers, principals, and education professionals interested in transforming schools and education.


Building Learning Communities Conference

Cost: $745

Location: Boston, MA

Dates: Jul 17-19

The BLC Conference is a great opportunity to connect with educational professionals in the Greater Boston Area and beyond who are passionate about innovative practices in education.


NASSP National Principals Conference

Cost: $495

Location: Boston, MA

Dates: Jul 18 – 20

The National Principals Conference allows education professionals interested in disruptive leadership practices to connect, learn, and grow with each other.


DT&L Conference

Cost: $649

Location: Madison, WI

Dates: Aug 6 – 8

The Distance and Teaching Learning Conference emphasizes evidence-based practices and innovational techniques in the field of online learning.


Grants and Fellowships – Nationwide

The deadline for many summer 2019 Grants and Fellowships have passed, but applications for summer 2020 will open later this year.


NEH Summer Opportunities for K-12 Educators and Higher Education Faculty

Stipend Amount: $1,200 – $3,300

Location: Multiple locations across US

The NEH offers tuition-free opportunities for educators to study humanities topics. Programs last anywhere from one to five weeks.


NEA Foundation Learning and Leadership Grants

Stipend Amount: $2,000 for individuals; $5,000 for groups

Location: Multiple locations across US

The NEA provides grants that can fund a variety of professional development opportunities for educators, including trips, seminars, and conferences.


Fund for Teachers Self-Guided Fellowships

Stipend Amount: Up to $5,000

Location: Multiple locations across US

The Fund For Teachers offers education grants for teachers to design and pursue their own summer enrichment trips.


Goethe Institute: Transatlantic Outreach Program

Stipend Amount: Program covers transportation, housing, and stipend costs

Location: Germany

Social studies or STEM educators can apply to this unique study abroad program through the Goethe Institute. Educators will learn innovative education practices and experience German culture.


Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program

Stipend Amount: Program covers transportation, housing, and stipend costs

Location: Global

The Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program is a year-long professional development opportunity for U.S. K-12 educators to develop skills for preparing students for a competitive global economy.


Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program

Stipend Amount: Program covers transportation, housing, and stipend costs

Location: Global

The program provides short-term study and travel seminars abroad for U.S. educators in the social sciences and humanities for the purpose of improving their understanding and knowledge of the peoples and cultures of other countries.


Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program

Stipend Amount: Program covers all related expenses

Location: Global

The Grosvenor Teacher Fellow (GTF) Program is a professional development opportunity for pre-K–12 educators to join a Lindblad expedition voyage aboard the National Geographic Explorer for two to three weeks during the summer.


Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development

Stipend Amount: Program covers all related expenses

Location: Japan

The exchange program provides U.S. teachers and administrators with a fully-funded opportunity to travel to Japan to learn about ESD efforts and strengthen ESD curricula in both countries.


Keizai Koho Center Teacher Fellowship

Stipend Amount: Program covers all related expenses

Location: Japan

The fellowship offers Grade 6-12 economics, social studies and history teachers to tour Tokyo and experience Japanese culture.


Earthwatch Institute Teacher Fellowships

Stipend Amount: Partial or full funding opportunities

Location: Global

Fellowships are available for teachers who are passionate about teaching and interested in conservation, environmental sustainability, and lifelong learning.


Professional Development Courses – Greater Boston Area

Exeter for Educators

Cost: $1,500

Location: Exeter, NH

Dates: June 23 – 28

The Phillips Exeter Academy holds intensive, one-week programs for secondary and middle school teachers provide enriching professional development in a variety of subject matters. Teachers spend a week living, learning, and finding inspiration with peers.


Bootstrap:Algebra @ Brown University

Cost: $1,000 ($50 for public school teachers in Rhode Island)

Location: Providence, RI

Dates: June 24 – 26

Bootstrap Algebra introduces educators to a full, in-school curriculum and software package that teaches children to program their own video games using purely algebraic concepts.


The Boston Athenæum: Primary Sources in the Classroom Workshop

Cost: $60

Location: Boston, MA

Dates: July 11-12

K-12 Teachers interested in how they can better utilize primary sources in the classroom should attend this two-day workshop.


Professional Development Courses for Educators at the New England Aquarium

Cost: $300

Location: Boston, MA

Dates: late July

Course participants will learn how to incorporate hands-on activities, classroom demonstrations, and project-based learning techniques in a science or engineering course (with a focus on local ecosystems and marine biology).


Lesley University Summer Professional Development Courses for Literacy Educators

Cost: Varies

Location: Cambridge, MA

Dates: July and August 2019

Lesley University offers a variety of different professional development classes, seminars, and online courses over the summer for literacy educators.


Summer Professional Development at Mass Audubon

Cost: $375

Location: Various across Greater Boston Area

Dates: July and August 2019

Mass Audubon’s summer professional development courses are designed to provide teachers with unique hands-on STEM-focused learning experiences. Each course utilizes Mass Audubon’s unique ecological landscapes as the classroom.


BioBuilder Professional Development Workshop

Cost: $500

Location: Cambridge, MA

Dates: August 6 – 8

BioBuilder Summer workshops prepare educators to bring biological engineering and synthetic biology into their classrooms and laboratories.


Arnold Arboretum Summer Institute 2019: Investigating Ecosystems Through Field Work

Cost: FREE

Location: Boston, MA

Dates: Aug 12 – 16

BPS teachers in grades 3-12 interested in ways to use the outdoors to teach life science standards can apply for this opportunity. Participants are guaranteed a free bus to bring their students to the Arboretum during the 2019-20 school year for self-guided explorations.


Workshops with The Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center

Cost: Varies

Location: Boston, MA

Dates: Summer 2019

The Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center offers a variety of professional development opportunities for educators to expand the way they can use maps in the classroom and teach geography.


Professional Development Seminars with the Museum of Science

Cost: Varies, Most Events free with Museum Admission

Location: Boston, MA

Dates: Summer 2019

For educators registered with the (free) Teacher Partner Program at the Museum of Science, there are a wide variety of seminars for those interested in using innovative teaching practices for STEM subjects.