Whew! We made it – another successful school year! At this point in the year I often get asked,
“Are you taking the summer off?”
Quite honestly, this is a hard question for me to answer. It’s true, my teacher schedule now takes a big shift into a different gear, but taking the summer off doesn’t fully register with me.
Similar to off-season athletes, I think a lot of teachers continue to train in some way. Here’s my off-season training regimen to stay in shape.
1) The education Twitter feed! Use it as a reflection tool, use it for professional development. The latest chat I’ve been involved in is #EdBeat. It’s full of positive energy and examples of the good in education that is strong and growing. The discussion among peers in the field is rich. Chats like these bring me to consider what was done, not done, half-way done, or shelved. What were the year’s highs and lows? What factors may have contributed to these? What’s to keep, to toss, or to improve upon?
And – there’s always something new to learn!
Through Twitter, it’s easy to find a webinar, book recommendations, EdCamps (This year’s new EdCamp experience for me will be #EdCampGlobal. Finding EdCamp Global is what led me to #EdBeat. If you don’t have a Twitter chain-of-events story yet, it’ll happen!), unlimited topics for further research, and connections upon connections of incredible educators worldwide.
2) I really like looking through the past year’s digital documentation to help me form my thoughts and opinions. Looking through my camera roll, classroom Tweets, Kidblog entries, Edmodo groups, the classroom website, and my personal blogs provide great ways of reflecting. The collaboration, outreach, and active learning that I see through social media validates the importance of using it and its relevance to the times.
3) How about some reading? This is another one that really gets me in “trouble.” I have PD books, personal book club books, novels to read/make recommendations for the classroom, and certainly not least – spiritual strengthening with Bible study and a book such as Love Does by Bob Goff. (What is that I hear, someone in my house asking about supper? Oh, these interruptions 😉 – bookmark that page!)
4) B-L-O-G-G-I-N-G… mentioned earlier and is definitely on my radar in my off-season training. Last summer was encouraging for me using the #10summerblogs challenge. I’m going again on this one this year because: 1) Blogging about what I do makes me really go through a thought process. Why am I doing what I’m doing? What’s the value? 2) It gives me opportunity to share this experience with students, that writing improves writing, and that everyone has a style and voice of their own.
5) Exercising regularly – I can give myself some needed health attention with a flexible summer schedule – which I am so thankful for – and can keep a much steadier routine for physical exercise. Love the challenge, love the workout, and gotta love the health benefits.
What does your off-season look like? May whatever it is and wherever it takes you, give you rest and refreshment in a welcomed change of pace.