Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Revive, Reflect, Revise: The 3 “Rs” of a Teacher’s Summer

Revive, Reflect, ReviseThe 3 “Rs” of a Teacher’s Summer

As summer approaches, we begin to think about, and plan for, the next school year.  We can’t help it.  “It must be so nice, having your summers off!”  Yup, it is.  It really is.  But the validity of this statement really depends on your definition of “off.”

The time between May(ish) and August(ish) is when we recharge our batteries and gear up for what is coming at us.  It is important to have a hiatus from that breakneck pace of the typical school year.  This summer break is a teacher’s opportunity to have more flexibility in scheduling, task completion, and bathroom breaks.  Take some time and catch up on your personal reading list, visit with friends over coffee, or check something off of your bucket list.

This is also the time where we feel we can take on something new.  When confronted with the daily survival mode of the classroom, it is difficult to imagine tackling a new curriculum, technology, or pedagogy.  It is during the summer “off time” when these new skills and experience can be put into focus.  Explore something new and re-energize your professional spirit.  As educators, it is important that we continue to learn and grow in our profession.  It then models the importance of life-long learning for our students.

It is important to first recharge your professional enthusiasm.  Take some time with no students, no correcting, and no bells.  Once you are feeling like yourself again, it is time to practice what we encourage our students to do every day...reflection on our work.

Thinking about our process and our practice is a critical component for creating a successful learning environment.  What went well over the past school year?  What would you like to change? 

Anyone who works in education knows that the summer months are when any significant revision work happens.  During the school year, many of us are simply operating in survival mode.  It is only after a break and reflection that we can really focus on implementing change.

Professional growth is a very common and important part of a typical teacher’s summer.  What do you want your classroom to look like next year?  After reflecting on your past year(s), is there something you can maximize or leverage as you work toward your new goal?  What tools and/or learning experiences do you need to assist you with that change?

One way to stay connected and participate in some asynchronous professional development is with the Twitter Chats and Hashtags.  Find a chat that appeals to you and check in once in a while.  Need some inspiration?  Check our our BPS Twitter Resources.