Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Slice of Life Tuesday

Summer Break or Is It?

Summer started out with a heat wave for me.  Our air conditioning went down on Friday night.  The repair man wasn't able to look at it until today!  The temperature inside the house was 92 degrees at one point.  I couldn't take it anymore and I convinced my husband that we had to get a hotel room.  I really didn't envision my break to start out like that.  Luckily for us, the repair was simple and not too costly.  So now on to break, right?

I WISH!!  I don't think the general population realizes what summer is really like for a teacher.  As I have taken on a role outside of the classroom, I have a slightly different experience, but my summers as a classroom teacher were not free vacation.  When I was a classroom teacher, I used the summers to:
  1. write lesson plans (which includes researching the topic, seeing what other teachers tried, adapting their activities for my students, figuring out how to differentiate the lesson
  2. reorganize (or re-write) my pacing guides using the notes I took over the school year
  3. attend at least 60 hours of professional development (usually took over 100 hours of PD to keep my skills up to date and find better ways to implement instruction)
  4. keep up date on the young adult literature (this is actually one of the best parts as I got to read, read, read)
  5. organize and decorate my classroom so students feel welcomed
  6. read professional texts that I didn't have to get to during the school year (again in an effort to find better ways to help my students learn
 In my current role outside of the classroom, I still do all of those things but now I have an extended contract which means I work 25 more days that a classroom teacher.  However, the 25 days is not enough to get everything done, so I still have to work on that "time off":
  1. data analysis (look at the state benchmark test results to find our strengths and weaknesses, look at various end of the year tests to see how those results are correlated to our state test, do they show the same strengths and weaknesses)
  2. using the data, find strategies that my teachers can use during the year to strengthen our weaknesses (research, research, research)
  3. provide professional development to my teachers that is targeted to what our students need
  4. organize and decorate our professional development room so it is welcoming and functional for teachers
  5. write lesson plans that my teachers can use in their classrooms
  6. participate in book studies (I am very excited about an online one that is coming up on Daily 5/CAFE.) which goes back to #2
I know I am probably preaching to the choir because the people who read my blog are teachers.  I want you to know that I appreciate all of the personal time you give up to help your students and be the best teacher you can be.  You are the BEST!!!


  1. Keep with it Jana! With everything you have going on the summer is going to fly by! Make sure you find time to relax and enjoy the small things too :)

    Best wishes from Manitoba, Canada!
    Miss L's Whole Brain Teaching

  2. I also use a lot of my summer vacation planning and getting ready for the upcoming school year. I am always looking for ways to improve instruction.
    I can tell that you really love what you do!! Keep up the EXCELLENT job!

  3. If only people realized how hard you and most other teachers worked in the summer time. I never took a "summer off" when I was teaching. It's really hard to do that and be the best you can be for your students. That being said, I hope you do have some time for R&R, which is important so you can recharge your batteries.

  4. Yes, that is what an educator does during the summer months. Too bad those outside of education don't realize what happens in the "off" months. Take some time for yourself too.

  5. I appreciate your dedication outside the school building. The addition hours show your committment to education. I only wish others were as passionate and in love with their job as you- WELL DONE! :)

  6. I'm glad your air conditioner was an easy fix -- YIKES! I agree with Elsie...take some tie for yourself too.

  7. How was I not following you before?!!? Not sure how that happened!!! It's all fixed now! :) My air broke last week I was dying!! Thank goodness for my mom who was able to come meet the repair man while I was at work!! :)

    Kindergarten Smiles

  8. yep...you said it all....except....how to stop getting screaming angry inside when at a party and a person make some lame comment about how we've got is made with all the free time every summer...I usually just have to move to another spot at the party or fear being escorted out....xo nanc

  9. This sounds about right but the lovely thing is that this can be done at a different pace inbetween moments of relaxing and without the daily buzz of classroom life. The time to renew and reflect and think deeply is priceless.

  10. This sounds about right but the lovely thing is that this can be done at a different pace inbetween moments of relaxing and without the daily buzz of classroom life. The time to renew and reflect and think deeply is priceless.


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