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How Can the Educator Network Support Your Summer Professional Development Goals?

How Can the Educator Network Support Your Summer Professional Development Goals?

Ah, summer in the life of a teacher—the bliss of school being out, wearing flip-flops on a daily basis, and of course, sleeping in. The pool or lake or beach is always calling, and the hardest decision of the day is which of those brain candy paperback novels to start. (OK, maybe this is just a touch of an idealized vision—but you know what I’m talking about). 

And, those days of summer aren’t far off for many of you! I am so happy for you—so happy that I have an assignment for you at the end of this post. Hang in here with me.

The end of the school year is when we do a lot of reflecting on the bright and shiny young faces that have been in front of us all year and thinking about how much they’ve grown. There’s the quiet one who eventually stood up and aced a presentation, the cowboy who organized a kickball game without help, the space cadet who rocked his or her latest math test, and so many more.

Your students have come so far, and you have too! Think about it—where were you as a teacher at the beginning of the school year? How did you grow? Did you come up with a new classroom management approach that worked wonders? Train yourself to do more with student data? Overhaul your lesson plan library? What do you know now that you didn’t last September? What kind of progress did you make towards your personal goals? These kinds of questions of self-reflection are just as important as looking back on your students’ progress.

That being said, what do you see as being your next steps this summer? Having lived the life of a teacher on summer break, I know that the bliss only lasts a few weeks, and then the itch returns—the reading list turns pedagogical, the Target Dollar Spot becomes dangerous, and the student antics start to sound amusing again. So, as part one of that promised assignment, I challenge you to start thinking beyond relaxation now. What do you want to do this summer to prepare me for your next batch of bright and shiny faces? How do you want to teach differently next year? What new things do you want to try? What do you want to learn this summer that will impact your class next year, make your (and your students’) days better, and help you grow as an educator? 

Now, here’s part two of your assignment: How can the Educator Network help you achieve those summer goals? How can our group support you in pushing beyond your comfort zone, helping you gain new experiences, and tackling the challenges that are important to you this summer? Here are a few of my ideas:

  • How about an education-focused book club?
  • How about live webinar debates on education hot topics?
  • How about creating a shared contact sheet so that you can more easily get in touch with fellow members?
  • How about participating in a member-driven podcast?
  • How about discussing some particular topics or challenges in the Educator Network Facebook group?
  • How about making your voice heard and building your professional resume by contributing to the Edmentum blog?
  • How about participating in workshops with Edmentum teams to build and share your expertise?

What would you like to see from the Network over your summer break? What do you think of these ideas? What tools do you need to have a productive summer (after you’ve caught up on sleep and some well-earned relaxation, of course)? Fill out this quick survey to let us know before you disconnect and revel in the summer breeze!

And, for the last part of your assignment: I would love to see photos of your view on the first few days of summer break. Email us your pictures, post on Twitter, or share to our Facebook group. Most importantly, enjoy!