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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

4 Ways to Make Yourself a More Awesome Teacher this Summer

4 Ways to Make Yourself a More Awesome Teacher this Summer

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2 Replies 1331 Views

Aaaaaahhhhh Summer. That time of year when thoughts turn to lazy days, gardens, beaches, and improving our work for next year.

I don't know about you, but sometimes Summer is my most productive time of year when it comes to figuring out what I need to be working on. Some of the most powerful workshops I've attended have been during this time of year when I can spend days at a time deeply examining new elements to add to my repertoire.

So what's awesome for Summer PD?

First and most important, use this time to reflect on your work from the past year! What did you succeed at? What were your struggles? Use this reflection to focus your efforts for the coming school year.

Next, start finding great information on the areas you're most looking to work on. Thanks to Edutopia's new redesign, it's never been easier to find info on many hot education topics. http://www.edutopia.org/topics And Google away! There's lots of great stuff out there on the internet.

Find some people who are awesome at what you want to be good at and learn from them. If you're not on Twitter, now is a great time to start and find the kind of info that you most need. Check out Jerry "Cybraryman" Blumengarten's amazing list of educational hashtags, which will help you find that one hashtag of your dreams. http://www.cybraryman.com/edhashtags.html

Connect with people at awesome events! There are fantastic FREE Edcamps happening all over the place this Summer! http://edcamp.wikispaces.com/Complete+edcamp+calendar

National Writing Project has a great website devoted to the Summer of Making and Connecting that's filled with fantastic online and face to face events. http://www.makesummer.org

Education Week has a ridiculously comprehensive search function for other, more traditional events as well http://www.edweek.org/apps/calendar/search_events.html

So, what are your plans? What do you need to work on? Where are you going, and who are you connecting with? If I can provide any help connecting you to resources, I'll be glad to help you out here, or hit me up on Twitter @dancallahan

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Gaetan Pappalardo's picture
Gaetan Pappalardo
Teacher, Author, Guitar––Word.
Facilitator 2014

All great ideas here. I think it's important not to burn out during the summer, so pick your poison wisely, commit, work hard, and stop. Don't overdue it or you'll feel like you didn't get a break. The summer is great for PD because you are relaxed which makes you more absorbent and you can spend multiple days at a conference or institute.

If you love writing and teaching writing check out any NWP writing institute all over the country. I attended the writing institute at Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project. You give 100% and they give 100% back to you. Amazing experience that changed my teaching career and writing career.

Have fun, work hard.

Gaetan

(2)
Don Doehla, MA, NBCT's picture
Don Doehla, MA, NBCT
Co-Director Berkeley WL Project at UC Berkeley Language Center
Facilitator 2014

I agree - great ideas, and I also encourage us all to be sure to get some time OFF! Teaching is intense by nature, so we really need to recharge, catch up with friends and family, get away from it all, go off the grid for a while!

That being said, my plans include three things in particular:

1) I plan to sift through the new Edutopia structure so I can bookmark all my favorite things, especially those which will help me plan for the new school year.

2) I plan to work on my PBL for World Languages book. It is near completion, but still needs some work - I will schedule a few hours for this, and when the scheduled time is done, I will stop!

3) I will read good things, and not all pedagogical in nature. My soul needs food too! On my list to read this summer:

a) My summer novel choice in English - Dalene Mathee's Driftwood (one of my favorite authors from South Africa)

b) My summer novel in French - Un papillon dans la cite, by Gisele Pineau

c) My summer professional book - The 5-Minute Teacher: How do I maximize time for learning in my classroom? (ASCD Arias), by Mark Barnes - this is not what it appears! It is not about teaching for only 5 minutes, but to teach what is needed in 5 minute, bite-sized input moments, as needed, as we support students in their own inquiry in a PBL-aligned context. Lots of info on-line here:

http://www.markbarnes19.com/books-by-mark-barnes/the-5-minute-teacher/

Best wishes to all for a happy and restful summer!

Don

(2)
Don Doehla, MA, NBCT's picture
Don Doehla, MA, NBCT
Co-Director Berkeley WL Project at UC Berkeley Language Center
Facilitator 2014

I agree - great ideas, and I also encourage us all to be sure to get some time OFF! Teaching is intense by nature, so we really need to recharge, catch up with friends and family, get away from it all, go off the grid for a while!

That being said, my plans include three things in particular:

1) I plan to sift through the new Edutopia structure so I can bookmark all my favorite things, especially those which will help me plan for the new school year.

2) I plan to work on my PBL for World Languages book. It is near completion, but still needs some work - I will schedule a few hours for this, and when the scheduled time is done, I will stop!

3) I will read good things, and not all pedagogical in nature. My soul needs food too! On my list to read this summer:

a) My summer novel choice in English - Dalene Mathee's Driftwood (one of my favorite authors from South Africa)

b) My summer novel in French - Un papillon dans la cite, by Gisele Pineau

c) My summer professional book - The 5-Minute Teacher: How do I maximize time for learning in my classroom? (ASCD Arias), by Mark Barnes - this is not what it appears! It is not about teaching for only 5 minutes, but to teach what is needed in 5 minute, bite-sized input moments, as needed, as we support students in their own inquiry in a PBL-aligned context. Lots of info on-line here:

http://www.markbarnes19.com/books-by-mark-barnes/the-5-minute-teacher/

Best wishes to all for a happy and restful summer!

Don

(2)
Gaetan Pappalardo's picture
Gaetan Pappalardo
Teacher, Author, Guitar––Word.
Facilitator 2014

All great ideas here. I think it's important not to burn out during the summer, so pick your poison wisely, commit, work hard, and stop. Don't overdue it or you'll feel like you didn't get a break. The summer is great for PD because you are relaxed which makes you more absorbent and you can spend multiple days at a conference or institute.

If you love writing and teaching writing check out any NWP writing institute all over the country. I attended the writing institute at Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project. You give 100% and they give 100% back to you. Amazing experience that changed my teaching career and writing career.

Have fun, work hard.

Gaetan

(2)

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