Summer is here! Many teachers have been counting down the days until the end of the school year for weeks. Summer is a great time to hang out with family, visit theme parks, go to the museum, read a great book (or three), and just veg out. That’s how I usually spend my summer! But it’s also a great time to come up with new ideas for teaching, learn some new skills, and catch up on what’s going on in the world of education. I mean, who really has time to read all the trade publications that appear in our mailboxes every week? I certainly don’t. Here are some great ways to spend a few hours this summer:
- Review your “Ideas” folder. I keep a file folder near my desk and add to it regularly. Every time I hear a great new teaching idea I scribble it down and put it in the folder. During the summer, I review everything in the folder, toss what isn’t realistic for me, and try to start things that are.
- Search the Web. Visit your state teacher association’s Web site for information about grants, legislation, and great ideas. Start with National Education Association (nea.org) and go from there! There are so many great (and not so great) sites out there. Let me know what you find.
- Take a class. Many community colleges offer online courses where you can learn to use a computer program or brush up on your teaching. Other organizations, such as OnlineLearning.net offer online courses for teaching professionals. The best part is that you can complete the class right from your own home!
- Visit your classroom. Yes, it’s your summer vacation. But if your school allows it, spending a quiet afternoon or two sorting through your classroom will benefit you when school starts back up. How many times this year have you been able to sit and just work for an afternoon? Never? Now’s your chance!