Summertime, and the Preppin’ Is Easy: 7 ways to leverage your teaching time off

It’s that time of year when most people think you’re vacationing on an island, camping for three weeks, or just lounging, letting the clock slowly tick the day away.

But you know that’s not how it goes.

Heather Wolpert-Gawron wrote an article on Edutopia.com (“The Myth of Having Summers Off”) where she lists nine things teachers try to accomplish during the break, nine things related to their job as educators, not their backyard sun-tanning aliases.

Wolpert-Gawron writes, “I don’t know what mythical job this guy thinks I have, but I’ve never had a summer off.”

But what if you’re just not sure what to do this summer. Maybe you’re a new teacher. Or maybe you’re a principal and you’d like to know what your teachers do after graduation. Here are some of things Wolpert-Gawron suggests.

(If you don’t, who would?)

Your curriculum might need an overhaul, and you might need a little bit of help with that.

Take a crash course in whatever new tech your school just bought. Better to see that error message at home after breakfast than in the classroom right before lunch.

A new school year is coming; maybe a new classroom look should too.

In another gem from Edutopia.com, Rebecca Alber writes, “As I reflect, those great first days were usually after a summer where I spent extra time setting up, designing bordering for student work displays, dusting each individual book in the classroom library, fine-tuning and perfecting those beginning lessons: the handouts, the pacing, and the mini-lessons” (“Back to School: Preparing for Day One”).

She offers six suggestions to hit a home run on the first day. Here are a few you might like:

First impressions are tricky, but having an organized classroom is one of the best ways to make a good first impression on your students.

At the end of the day, you might laugh, but saving the day with an extra diagram or handout makes the extra time and printing worth it.

Take the time in the summer to practice your first lesson. Or any tricky lesson.

For a lot of students, summer is free time to do a whole lot of things—schoolwork not being one of them. For you, on the other hand, summer is a productive and creative time, an opportunity to reflect, plan, and prepare for the upcoming school year.

Want more awesomeness like this? Try our article Teacher Appreciation: Stories from America’s Top Teachers or subscribe to our education newsletter, The Yardstick & Apple.

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