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Summertime Not Downtime for WI Teachers

July 28, 2009

MADISON, Wis. - For most teachers in Wisconsin, the summer is anything but a time to just kick back and relax. Many teachers use the time to take continuing education classes to keep their teaching licenses current under state law, while others gather to come up with new ways to get better results in the classroom.

Maureen Schiefelbein is a teacher in the Pembine School District, which just hosted a school curriculum summer institute for comprehensive literacy.

"We put an action plan together to carry out through the school year involving balanced literacy, assessing the change over the time in reading and writing progress."

Diane Lazewski, a New Berlin teacher, has attended summer training for special education teachers on inclusion, as well as technology, non-violent crisis intervention and other curriculum.

"What they're doing is creating new curricula. They're trying to make their classrooms a better place for learning, they are trying to learn new technology skills so that they keep up with the students."

Teachers certified after September of 2004 need to write a Professional Development Plan every five years to renew their licenses. Those certified before 2004 must take six credits from a four-year university or college every five years to renew. Many use the summer to get those tasks done.

For most teachers in the state, the first day of school is now about a month away.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - WI