Summer Renewal

Summer’s here! I don’t know anyone working in education as a teacher or a student who isn’t excited about the end of the school year. The countdown started weeks ago (months ago, in some cases). There’s something about that sense of completion that is so attractive. The job is done. Now, we can take some time off, relax, and recharge the batteries. It’s nice to be out of school.

Fishin’At some point over the summer, there’s a transition from being happy that the school year is over to anxiously anticipating its return. It takes a while sometimes, but most of the really good teachers and nearly all of the students I know (even if they won’t admit it) get excited about school starting in August. It’s a new year. It’s a fresh start. We’re going to try new things. We’re getting back into a routine. It’s time to get back to work.

Somehow, the summer has that magic renewing effect. We have the opportunity to stop the day-to-day frenzy, catch our collective breath, and reflect (if only a little) on the bigger picture. We spend our days differently. We worry about different things. It’s the bridge of the song, or the side-dish in the meal. Do something different. Then, come back for more.

There are some teachers who don’t look forward to starting a new year. Next year is going to be the same as this year. It’s just the same old thing over and over again. These are the same teachers whose lesson plans for the last week of November say “No School — Kennedy funeral”. Maybe they’re like the old laptop battery that won’t hold a charge anymore. I’m not worried about them. They don’t read my blog.

Over the course of the school year, I hear a lot of comments from teachers about learning new technologies. “I’m so far behind when it comes to technology.” “I just don’t have time for that right now.” “I need to spend more time with this technology over the summer.” Summer comes. They can’t wait to get out of school. After some rest, the vacations start, and summer activities, and before you know it, school is starting again. It’s not a bad thing, but many times the best laid schemes o’ professional development gang aft agley.

This summer, I’m proposing that we all spend at least a little bit of time learning about some new things. I’m going to post 12 opportunities this summer on various professional development topics for teachers. Whenever you hit that magic point between “can’t wait for school to end” and “can’t wait for school to start,” take a look at them.

I’m thinking I have a couple days before I need to come up with the first one 🙂

2 thoughts on “Summer Renewal

  1. John, I will be ready and waiting. Of course, I do not have to wait for or search for your updates because my RSS feeds will do this for me. You make a very good point and I plan on doing my best to still learn one new technology a week along with changing my units around to align with the infamous standards. Summer break goes extremely fast and before you know it, we are starting a whole new year with “full plates” once again.
    My goal for next year is to post 40 “Todd’s Tech Tips” (one a week) on my blog. I have received good feedback from numerous people and several buildings. I understand that a lot of my posts are old technologies, but in order for teachers to get excited about new technologies, they need to understand the basics first. Thanks again for the time you have spent with me this year and for sharing your insights and knowledge on your blog. Some of us teachers look forward to hearing what you have to say!!! Have a great summer.


  2. I agree with your idea of spending the summer trying to learn some new tech things. This is not always easy for me because I am a summer camp director and do not take time off like my cohorts. However, I was given a summer curriculum grant to work on our fiction writing unit in 3rd grade. Part os this work is for me to connect with other teachers globally on this subject (and others), so I have just begun my first blog. I am visiting the blogs that I subscribe to (like yours) and inviting people to visit my blog.

    Please visit when you have a chance. I look forward to reading your tech tips once you publish them!


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