Summer break is a time for well deserved rest from early mornings and after-school meetings, but that does not mean your time off needs to be unproductive. Here’s a list of seven helpful ideas to make this summer your springboard into an amazing school year.
1- Read these three books. While there are many amazing books that will inspire you this summer, these three are certain to help you reinvent yourself as an educator.
- Drive, by Daniel Pink. Everything you ever needed to know about what motivates people, and students, to do anything. This was my life-changing book.
- Teach Like a Pirate, by Dave Burgess. Arguably the best teacher book ever written. No matter how experienced and good you are, TLAP will make you strive to be better.
- Assessment 3.0, by Mark Barnes. Okay, this one may seem self-serving, but the throw-out-grades movement is real, and this book shows you how to be part of it and how to forever change how we assess learning.
2 – Join a social network for teachers. Find a Twitter chat, Facebook group, or online book club, and collaborate with other educators. We are better together than we are apart. Here are a few options:
- #Edchat on Twitter. This feed has powerful information 24/7 and two live chats weekly on Tuesdays.
- Teachers Throwing Out Grades on Facebook. One of education’s most influential groups, there are thousands of teachers, parents, and students here, talking about how to build an ongoing conversation about learning.
- Talks with Teachers. This is a growing community of educators, who discuss many education-related topics daily.
3 - Reflect On Last Year’s Teaching Experience
Think back over the previous year and identify your successes and your challenges. While you should spend some time thinking about both, concentrate on the successes. You will have greater success improving upon what you do well than focusing on what you did poorly.
4 - Take a Colleague to Lunch
It's better to give than to receive. As the school year approaches, teachers need to know how much they are appreciated. Think of a fellow teacher who inspires you and let them know how important they are to students and to you.
5 – Write
Whether you write a guest blog post, a series of Facebook articles, or start your own teacher blog, you should write about education. Share something awesome with the world–a unique teaching strategy or a new tech tool you’ve discovered. You’ll love contributing to the profession.
6 - Build a new yearlong project
The yearlong project can help you meet many objectives, while giving students the opportunity to take charge of their own learning. Summer break is the perfect time to put all pieces of your project in place, so you can launch it the second school begins.
7 - Maintain Your Expertise
You can always learn more about the topic you teach. Check out the latest publications. You might find the seed for an excellent new lesson.
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