Summertime is typically spent unwinding, unplugging, and for many educators, untangling from the daily rigors of teaching. But summer is also the perfect opportunity to get more familiar with ideas and tools that might take time to understand and use during the school year.
We asked a few teachers how they’ve been spending their summer months to get inspired. We heard from educators from Alaska, Utah, Puerto Rico, Georgia, and California.
- PLAYING WITH TECH TOOLS. “This summer I’m playing with many of the tools we want kids to use more of next year – things like ShowMe and InClass, as well as other apps for the iPad, iPod, and iPhone. I’m also experimenting with more Google apps for learning, trying to get more paperless for next year. I’m reading up on many ideas that others have tried to help incorporate mobile devices and social media into classrooms and do so in a way that is safe but engaging to kids. I’m looking at more ways to ‘flip’ teaching so class time is more productive. Finally, I’m hiking, biking, and having lots of fun so I am refreshed and ready to go back!” – Debbie Brewer, Math/Science teacher, Lumen Christi High School, Anchorage, AK
- FINDING THE BEST HISTORY VIDEOS. “I took a few weeks to just relax and then spent the last month rewriting my course to get it how I want it for next year, making sure I make all the changes necessary to make it better. I also watch a lot of history videos. I watch them and I’m like, ‘I love history! History is so great!’ I want to make sure every student loves it, too.” – Jennifer Klein, World Civilizations teacher, Open High School of Utah
- READING, REMODELING, RECHARGING. “This summer, I went to Dallas, Texas and traveled alone by trains and buses to find my way around. It was a first experience for me since I have always traveled in my own car since I was 16. Reading everything that falls into my hands has also been a worthwhile experience this summer. I read Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. Excellent reading! I have a stack of books waiting for me for the rest of the summer. I’ve also started to knit and looked into every nook and cranny of my house, cleaning, discarding, refreshing things. I’ve made dozens of plans to remodel the living room, renovate the terrace, and paint the house in the next two weeks. These four simple things have done wonders to refresh and relax me for the incoming semester.” – N. Vargas, 7th grade English teacher at an all-girls’ Catholic school in Puerto Rico Continue reading