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:
- 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
- reorganize (or re-write) my pacing guides using the notes I took over the school year
- 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)
- keep up date on the young adult literature (this is actually one of the best parts as I got to read, read, read)
- organize and decorate my classroom so students feel welcomed
- 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
- 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)
- using the data, find strategies that my teachers can use during the year to strengthen our weaknesses (research, research, research)
- provide professional development to my teachers that is targeted to what our students need
- organize and decorate our professional development room so it is welcoming and functional for teachers
- write lesson plans that my teachers can use in their classrooms
- 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