Every school day, teachers everywhere arrive an hour before school starts and leave at least an hour after school ends, often hauling a bin or crate of grading or prep to complete. We spend hour upon hour researching the best methods to teach, to differentiate, to engage. We spend hours, creating, preparing, and tweaking lesson plans, activities, and assessments. At the elementary level, teachers spend hours decorating and cutting and laminating and stuffing little sandwich bags for new activities. At the secondary level, English teachers, for example— sift through, read, correct, and comment thoughtfully on 120 students’ 3 page papers (which totals 360 pages of material – for one assignment.
Now that summer is officially here, let's talk summer reading and professional development! Most people know how hard teachers work during the school year, but not many people know how hard we work during our summers. We attend conferences, teach summer school, work on our credentials, read, prepare, and do countless other things that help us to be better teachers every year. Today I want to share five suggestions for teachers looking to do some relaxing, yet thoughtful summer reading this summer. I'd love to hear your further suggestions or reviews in the comment section below!
As a teacher, I feel like I technically have a lot of opportunities for professional development, but it is just so hard to make the time to research, plan, attend, and appreciate most of the options out there! When I actually do get all of that together and attend a conference, there are 2 main risks: 1. The conference or presenter may not be all that it was cracked up to be, or sometimes more likely 2. I may not take full advantage of all of the benefits and resources available. After attending a wildly successful conference recently, I wanted to write about my tips for taking full advantage of professional development conferences:
When I began blogging back in 2011, I entered the world bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, expecting to be behind in the game for awhile, and anticipating finding some great middle and high school bloggers out there who would be willing to collaborate and share ideas. I fully expected to gain hundreds of eager middle and high school English teacher followers in a few months, clamoring to read my articles and share ideas. How wrong I was.