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Has anyone ever done any professional development programs or research over the summer? I switched jobs from working for a non-profit education company (did some good, kind of cool stuff, but the place was not managed well... I wanted to get out while I could) to taking a job as a public school teacher, which sets me back a few years until I apply for my Ed.D. as I rack up my classroom experience (also a major reason why I changed jobs... want to apply to Columbia and Stanford and both require and/or prefer several years of classroom experience).

Anyway.. until the time when I am ready to apply, I've been looking for worthwhile ways to spend my summer. I've found that Harvard has a number of professional development programs (only applying to ones that need an application... others you just register, so I may be wrong, but the ones that need to actually accept you are probably more worthwhile?), also Princeton has a math/science summer program, and there are a number of Research Experience for Teachers programs at other top schools (MIT, Yale, etc).

I guess my question is, how much or how little do these things add to your resume when it comes time to apply for a doctorate? How difficult are they to be accepted to? Has anyone attended any of these programs, or programs similar to these, or have suggestions for other good ways to spend summers in between teaching? I would really appreciate feedback!

I know it sounds like I am only applying to these to make my resume impressive, which is somewhat true. Grad school is a huge goal for me, but I'm also just young and really eager to do something exciting and worthwhile over the summer that will make me a better teacher :)

Edited by KRim7
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