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Summertime for Teachers
posted by: Colin | June 17, 2012, 06:55 PM   

Any teacher will tell you that a surefire way of stirring up trouble with an educator involves remarking, “Must be nice to not work during the summer.”  While summertime might mean that “the livin’ is easy” for some, most teachers find the summertime just as busy as the school year.  Students might not be in the classroom, but teachers are often busy with professional development, conferences, trainings and other activities to improve their skills in preparation for the upcoming school year.

Summertime is also an invaluable time to reorganize the classroom and get some much needed professional development training in.  Teachers can make great use of their summer by going to workshops, conferences, and meetings that will strengthen their content area or broaden their perspectives about other content areas.  For example, science teachers can really benefit from the variety of professional development webinars produced by the National Science Teachers Association ranging in topics from “Chemistry of Water” to “Skeletal System.”

Teachers who keep irregular schedules during the summer can appreciate the online resources offered by Scholastic.  These workshops are on a variety of topics from a variety of sources, and are usually offered as online workshops to complete at your own pace.  You can sit at your personal computer in your pajamas with your freshly brewed coffee and learn all about rubric assessments, for example.

As discussed previously, teachers and administrators are more likely to use personal mobile devices, enabling them to be more productive.  If you’re looking to become more technologically savvy over the summer, be sure to check out the workshops provided by EdTechTeacher on bringing technology to your classroom.  As classrooms go increasingly digital, teachers can benefit from familiarizing themselves with the challenges of using technology in the classroom.

In addition to attending and participating in workshops and conferences, teachers can use the summertime to reflect on their teaching during the school year.  Do some honest self-assessment.  How effective is your technique?  What areas are your strengths and what are your weaknesses?  What would you like to improve for next year? Check out this self-evaluation toolkit for some ideas.

As you develop answers to these questions, it might become necessary for you to reorganize your classroom.  Teachers will frequently clean and redecorate their classrooms over the summer, but if you have done a tremendous amount of reflection, you might feel the need for an overhaul.  If organization is what you seek, be certain to check out the resources here.  Also, don’t forget to follow AAE on Pinterest for other creative solutions to your classroom needs.

While summer should be productive, teachers should also remember that stress is minimized by achieving balance.  Take some time to get away from it all and do something for yourself.  Retreat to the lake for the weekend, or maybe spend an afternoon at a café reading your favorite non-school related poetry.  Teachers spend so much time thinking about their classroom. Remember, it is just as important to turn “off” the teacher mode and enjoy a few moments where “the livin’ is easy.”

Teachers, what are your plans for the summer?
Comment below.

>> Originally posted by Larisa on the AAE Blog.

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