There was nothing like a Saturday – unless it was the Saturday leading up to the last week of school and into summer vacation. That of course was all the Saturdays of your life rolled into one big shiny ball. -Nora Roberts
I live in a pretty awesome place. As a vacation destination, it has beaches and islands, golf, well-preserved architecture, historical significance, and incredible restaurants. Charleston was also named “the most polite and hospitable city in America” by Southern Living magazine. I have no trouble slipping into the slow and lazy pace of summer in the South. I don’t know if it is Saturday or Tuesday. Coming off a manic, over-scheduled school year, I’m ready to decompress.
So why am I doing staff development for other school districts and working on conference presentations at ISTE and iSummit…could it be, that the phrase “everything I ever needed to know I learned in kindergarten” is wrong? I believe you can teach an old dog new tricks. Our world is fluid and things never stay the same. Life-long learning helps us adapt to change. When I work with other teachers in professional development and I speak at conferences, I am sharing my knowledge but I also learn from them.
Don’t we all get a good laugh when someone not in the know says something like, “It must be nice to have 3 months off from work and get paid for it.” WHATEVER. I’ve never had 3 months off in the summer in all of the years I’ve taught. Summer is a great time for re-charging the old batteries, but it’s also a time for reflection, staff development, re-working lesson plans and PS…that classroom that was all packed up in June has to be un-packed and put back together in August.
I hope to soak up some sun and read some good books, but I also hope to learn from others at ISTE in San Antonio, work and learn from my fellow Apple Distinguished Educators at the institute this summer in Austin, and even though I’m presenting, I want to sit in on some sessions at iSummit in Atlanta. I want to spend some time reading more on Personalized Learning. I want to read all of those great tweets from my PLN on Twitter that I just haven’t had time to look at. When we stop learning, we become stagnant. I want to take part in these learning opportunities so that I can go back to work in August excited and ready…because the work and energy we put into our students during the school year is exhausting. I know there are times I have to dip into my “innovation and creativity reserves” just to make it through.
We spend 180 days (more in some countries), filling others. Summer is a time we can fill ourselves. There are few professions that have classroom hours, pre- and post-school hours, conferences and phone calls, weekend work, after-hours grading, professional development requirements, lesson planning, team meetings, extracurricular clubs and teams, parent correspondence, district level meetings, material preparation, and paperwork on top of paperwork.
Whether you are in the northern hemisphere enjoying summer, or in the southern hemisphere going into fall, I hope you will all find time re-charge. Learn something new. I will be sharing with all of you the things I learn this summer, so y’all come back now, ya hear?
Today we will do exciting new things. Let’s get to it!