Skip to content

Professional Learning Never Stops: Making the Most of Professional Development During the Summer

Educators have known for many years the importance of continuous learning for staying current in terms of professional skills and knowledge (Guskey, 2000).  “The purpose of professional learning is for educators to develop the knowledge, skills, practices, and dispositions they need to help students perform at higher levels” (Learning Forward, 2015, para. 1). Learning Forward (n.d.) describes the relationship between professional learning and improved student results as a cycle in which educators change skills and beliefs and later use their new knowledge to better meet student needs. As teacher practices improve, students are more likely to meet performance expectations, and the cycle begins again with a new improvement focus.

The more relaxed pace of summer provides an ideal opportunity for teachers to engage in professional development activities and to reflect upon their practices in preparation for the upcoming school year. Consider taking advantage of some of the learning opportunities listed below.

Specifically Designed for Virginia Educators

Professional Organizations and Resources

Face-to-Face Professional Learning

Summer learning opportunities abound, and teachers can strategically select activities that are both enjoyable and will contribute to their learning objectives. Several resources on professional development are noted below to get your summer learning started!

Additional Resources

T/TAC W&M publishes quarterly newsletters that cover a broad range of topics to support educators of students with disabilities. Visit the T/TAC Link Lines Newsletter to explore articles on various topics.

T/TAC W&M Library recommends several books from our library each month. Visit the T/TAC W&M Link Lines Newsletter website to view Library book suggestions and sign up to receive emails.

The following resources on professional development are available for loan through the T/TAC W&M Library. In the search field, type Staff Development or Administrative Leadership/Reform.



Call Letters

Understanding by Design: Professional Development Workbook Wiggins, G. ST160
Online Professional Development for Teachers Dede C. ST166
The Teacher’s Ultimate Planning Guide: How to Achieve a Successful School Year and Thriving Teaching Career Burke, L. ST154
“Sit & Get” Won’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Professional Learning Strategies That Engage the Adult Brain Tate, M. ST156
Individualizing Professional Development Husby, V. ST157
Creating a Dialogue: On Professional Development Burello, L., Ettinger, L., & Hoffman, L. ST47
Learning Circles: Creating Conditions for Professional Development Collay, M., Dunlap, D., Enloe, W., & Gagnon, G. ST95.1
Planning Together: Professional Development for Teachers of ALL Students Bull, B., & Bueschler, M. ST51
The Best of Dennis Sparks Sparks, D. ST88
The Dance of Change Senge, P., et al. ST94
Tools for Growing the NSDC Standards Richardson, J., & Hirsh, S. (Eds.) ST75
What Works in the Elementary Grades: Results-Based Staff Development Killion, J. ST117
What Works in the High School Grades: Results-Based Staff Development Killion, J. ST118
What Works in the Middle: Results-Based Staff Development Killion, J. ST101.1
Why Can’t We Get it Right? Speck, M., & Knipe, C. ST100



Guskey, T. (2000). Evaluating professional development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Learning Forward. (n.d.). Quick reference guide: Standards for professional learning. Oxford, OH: Author. Retrieved from

Learning Forward. (2015). Who we are. Oxford, OH: Author.