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Professional Development Resources

The Florida Education Association is dedicated to the professional development, growth and support of those who serve Florida’s students every day.

Professional development courses are offered through your local union with coordination and assistance from FEA and our national affiliates, the National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

If your local is interested in developing or providing a professional practice or union organizing training please contact Dr. Primrose Cameron, Professional Development Director at: (386) 785-7700 or primrose.cameron@floridaea.org.

Here are just a few of the local, state and national programs designed to help you better serve your students.

On this page

Please note: Each union uses a different term to refer to the wide range of paraprofessionals and non-instructional staff who work at public schools: FEA uses the term education staff professionals, NEA uses education support professionals, and AFT uses “PSRP” or paraprofessionals and school-related personnel.

Events and resources

FEA’s Summer Academy is a week-long training session geared toward new, emerging and seasoned local union leaders — combined with professional development workshops for rank-and-file educators.

AFT Teach: AFT TEACH (Together Educating America’s Children) is a biennial professional learning conference aimed at celebrating, inspiring and supporting educators in the work that lies ahead. The next AFT TEACH will be held in 2023.

Anti-bullying Resources: Both of our national unions, AFT and NEA, have launched anti-bullying campaigns and have a number of resources focused specifically on the role of education staff professionals in the fight against bullying.

Courageous Conversations: Courageous Conversations is a training that challenges us to think critically about the effects of race on student achievement. In these unique times, educators must ask themselves if they want to stand by and observe or act! This session begins the process for having meaningful, open dialogue about equity in schools for all students. For more information please email: feaprodev@floridaea.org

English Language Learners: Colorín Colorado is the premier national website serving educators and families of English language learners (ELLs) in Grades PreK-12.

FEA Certification Resources: FEA’s website has updated information about certification. Additionally, the FEA Professional Development and Educational Research Department has worked with local affiliates to provide a variety of train the trainer courses for certification and skills development. Members can participate in professional learning opportunities that will enhance their professional practice and have a positive impact on student achievement. 

FEA Teachers of Color Series: FEA launched the Teachers of Color Series with a kick-off celebration January 28, 2021. The series meets monthly to celebrate the cultural diversity of teachers and students in Florida. We provide a space for new and aspiring teachers to network with other teachers. We offer training, mentoring opportunities, book talks, exciting guest speakers and other fun activities. For more information please email: feaprodev@floridaea.org

FEA Wellness Wednesdays: Educators live stressful lives. It is important for our mental and physical well-being that we all take time out to refresh ourselves so we can be there for our students. The FEA PD department offers monthly workshops during the school year to address our mental health and wellness. Different topics are explored each month such as mindfulness, self-care, and needs of caregivers. Look to sign up for these workshops on the PDER Facebook page. 

National education staff professional conferences: AFT and NEA each host annual conferences for education staff professionals. Dates of the 2022-23 conferences can be found by going to:

NEA edCommunities: NEA’s edCommunities  is a free platform where teachers, parents, education staff professionals and community members share ideas and resources to improve student success.

NEA’s Certification Bank: Part of the NEA Center for Great Public Schools, the NEA Certification Bank has a wide-range of free online courses. NEA offers more than 100 micro-credentials to educators free of charge. These micro-credentials have been created by educators for educators. Micro-credentials offer personalized learning experiences for educators and are on demand and sharable. This form of professional development is competency-based recognition that supports educators developing skills and acquiring knowledge to improve classroom practice. Check out this union-led professional development opportunity for your formal and informal professional learning experience.

NEA Education Support Professional Online Resource Hub: This site — www.nea.org/espresources — offers an expansive collection of online resources, articles, websites and career information compiled by the NEA ESP Quality Department and sorted by education staff professional job classification.

NEA Foundation: The NEA Foundation provides educators — both teachers and education staff professionals — with grants, support and collaboration opportunities to enhance teaching, learning and our schools.

Share My Lesson: Built by educators across the country, AFT’s Share My Lesson brings together a community of teachers, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel to provide high-quality and effective lessons, useful information to use in the classroom and professional development. Share My Lesson has more than 1 million members and more than 400,000 resources that have been downloaded more than 12 million times.

FEA LEADS supports early career teachers, builds leadership skills and increases teacher retention by providing support and training to local teacher leaders. The FEA LEADS fall Teacher Leadership Conference focuses on developing innovative school-based solutions to address teacher retention and leadership. The summer teacher academy aims to build local capacity for supporting early career teachers. Member trainers also now offer cultural competency courses through local union programs and in conjunction with school districts.

The Putnam Pilot Project takes a comprehensive approach to help Priority Schools with a four-point plan to: support strong leadership; ensure effective teaching and learning; strengthen the instructional program; and use data to improve instruction.

Professional practice trainings

Working with our national affiliates, AFT and NEA, FEA coordinates with and assists local unions in addressing our members’ professional practice needs. Past offerings have included:

  • First Aid/ CPR
  • ESE Certificate Renewal 20-Hour Course
  • Managing Anti-Social Behavior
  • Handling Stress
  • Is My Teaching Effective?
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching
  • Student Engagement
  • Managing Behavior in School Communities
  • Teaching English Language Learners
  • Effective Mentoring for New Teacher Support

Union organizing trainings

FEA staff and leaders provide trainings year-round to local union members and leaders to help them build stronger unions. These offerings include but are not limited to:

  • Member organizing and collective action
  • One-on-one conversations
  • Leadership development
  • Collective bargaining
  • Arbitration
  • Member representation
  • Public speaking and communications
  • Effective team building
  • Union history

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