Julie A. Cunningham

Academic Advisor

Help Me Spend $1,000… or more!


photo credit: Tracy O

Summer is just around the corner, and with it many fabulous conferences and professional development opportunities. I’m weighing the value of difference conferences and trainings in light of my interview experiences, and I’m not sure where to go from here.  Will you help me spend $1,000…. or more? ((Remember, my goal is to be an intermediate classroom teacher in the next 1-3 years, preferably in a 1-to-1 environment. I have my BA in History, should have my Statement of Eligibility from CDE in the next couple months for Alternative Licensure, and have applied to a number of Alternative Teacher programs for next year.))

Here are some things I am considering, and a brief snippet of my rationale:

  • IB PYP: An Introduction to the Curriculum Model Training
    • $775 for conference, plus food/lodging- travel costs minimal given proximity.
    • June 29-July 7
    • Rocky Mountain Association of IB World Schools
    • Learn more about this inquiry driven model- which I already like, and increase my marketability for a position in a PYP school as an alternative teacher.
  • Technology in Education (TIE) Colorado Conference
    • $325-430, plus food/lodging- travel costs minimal given proximity.
    • June 21-24
    • TIE Colorado
    • Opportunity to network with other educators in my region. Not sure that it helps me be a better classroom teacher candidate, but the tech part is my area of expertise.
  • ISTE 2011 Conference
    • $235, plus plane ticket, food, lodging….easily $1,000
    • June 26-29
    • International Society for Technology in Education
    • Went to the 2010 conference- lots of people & info. Felt pretty overwhelming, but I learned some amazing things. Again, not sure this is helpful at this point in my career. Fun, though.
  • Upper Elementary Montessori Diploma Program
    • $2,999
    • Flexible, online
    • North American Montessori Program
    • Would have a good understanding of Montessori curriculum, philosophy and teaching methods. Might be that I stopped looking at public ed positions, and focused on private.
  • Test Evaluator Part-time Job
    • Hey- I’d actually MAKE money on this one…. $10.75/hr. (More than I make now!)
    • Evenings- family impact is huge until summer, then not a biggee.
    • Measured Progress
    • Learn lots about student writing ability/expectations, rubrics, grading, inter-rater reliability. Feels a bit hypocritical since I think standardized tests stink, but would probably be a positive experience on my resume.

What do you think would be most valuable? Any cost/benefit analysis ideas for me? Other options? If you’re an administrator, is there additional training that would help you be comfortable hiring an alternative candidate?


2 thoughts on “Help Me Spend $1,000… or more!

  1. Personally, I would choose the inquiry driven model. I’m modelling all my classes around inquiry and PBL next year. For me, it’s about learning, not necessarily always technology.

  2. I vote for IB!
    Skip TIE, I have been a few years and each year I leave feeling let down.