Summertime

imagesSummer break officially begins today for teachers in our school district.  There has been much discussion about education and educators especially during the past year, and the public perception seems to be that teachers  have it pretty easy with those three months off every summer.  While it is true that we do enjoy some time off during the summer, it is certainly a misconception that we have three months “off.”

If one were to look at our school calendar, the last official teacher day for 2010-2011 was yesterday, June 8, and the first official teacher day for the 2011-2012 school year is August 11, equating to just a bit over 8 weeks (2 months).  Beyond that technicality, however, these eight weeks are prime time for us to gear up for the new year.  My  agenda this summer includes the following personal learning opportunities that will undoubtedly translate to enhanced learning for students:

  • meeting with colleagues to plan curriculum and common assessments
  • re-reading Readicide by Kelly Gallagher, as part of our all-staff summer enrichment
  • attending a literacy workshop at Purdue University, where Kelly Gallagher is a keynote speaker
  • working with Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska from the College of William and Mary and colleagues from throughout the State of Indiana to write language arts curriculum units that align with common core standards.  (I will have the opportunity to “field test” the sixth grade unit in my classroom next year.)
  • re-organizing and purging over-stuffed cabinets in my classroom . . . a yearly event that never seems to yield the results I hope for
  • writing additional math lessons to integrate student use of a Bamboo pen and tablet to accompany their netbooks (Thanks to 3M for the grant toward this engaging opportunity for students!)

Just as I suggest that my students do, my summer will also involve learning opportunities beyond the classroom. I will read for pleasure.  I will visit my son and soon-to-be daughter-in-law in Washington, D.C.  We’ll tour the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, and the monuments in 100 degree heat with tens of thousands of others.  I’ll work in my garden and try new recipes in the kitchen.  My husband and I will also lie on St. Augustine’s Beach and let our minds clear.  We’ll probably over-indulge at some good restaurants and ride our bikes the next day to work off some of the damage.  We’ll visit our family in Illinois.  We’ll watch the Cubs lose and bemoan their existence, but we’ll continue to be fans.

The first week of August will arrive, and I’ll wonder where the summer has gone.  I will begin my 29th year of teaching, still loving the profession and the new batch of sixth graders with every ounce of my being.  That’s just what educators do, and that’s just how educators feel.  But for right now, it’s summertime.

One thought on “Summertime

  1. Even in those down times at the beach, I find myself thinking of the upcoming year and the possibilities it brings!
    That’s quite a summer you have planned!!

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