Summer time, Summer mind!

During the summer months, teachers are reminded of the certainty that school begins in sixty days or less by endless advertisements, emails and premature visits to the school.  In some cases, summer days are filled with teaching summer school, finishing off last minute details from the previous year or simply gearing up for the upcoming year.  Very seldom are teachers left with nothing to do over the break.  For this reason, I often wonder what type of professional development is expected of teachers over the summer. 
In other industries, rarely are employees asked to use their break as a time to work on new concepts or read up on the most up-to-date skills, but this is frequently the charge given to educators. Most colleagues spend their summers finding alternative strategies, buying supplies, or simply lurking on the internet for classroom ideas.  These activities should also be earmarked as professional development. 

In many instances, professional development describes classes, webinars or book talks.  However, the amount of time educators spend gathering, learning, meeting and preparing should count as well.  This summer I reflected, taught summer school, lurked for new ideas and simply read about teaching.  This summer I focused on recommitting myself to the actual practice of teaching so that my development remains in a way that is not stagnant.  This summer has not been like past summers because this summer I realized that teaching changes you more that you change it and thus summer time is an opportunity to develop my summer mind.  This summer take the opportunity to develop professionally by changing up your summer professional development.    

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