Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer Vacation?

Okay, fellow's a question for you: What is summer for? I mean, how do you use the summer break from school?

Image by The Consumerist
CC-BY-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

I know teachers who spend the summer completely away from school. They walk out the door a week after the students leave and they don't come back until a week before the students arrive in the fall. They head to the pool, they head to the lake, they head out of state. They use the summer to unwind from the hectic school year and rest up for the coming year.

I know teachers who work all summer to supplement their (perhaps meager) income from their chosen profession. I know teachers who paint houses, work in construction, clean carpets, work in restaurants, and write webpages during the summer months to earn a few extra bucks. They use the summer to ensure that they can make ends meet each year, because they feel so strongly called to teach that they are willing to do what it takes to support themselves so they can carry out their professional calling despite the low pay it might afford.

I know teachers who try to enrich themselves intellectually, to become better teachers. They spend the summer reading, reflecting, taking courses, participating in workshops, and generally trying to develop into more professional teachers. They use the summer to encounter new ideas and methodologies, to develop their understanding of pedagogy or content, and to seek to improve their teaching practice.

I know teachers who do a variety of these things each summer. They try to get away for awhile, they try to work a little, they try to do a little professional development, all at the same time. And suddenly, the ten weeks of summer vacation are gone in a blink!

What do you think? How should teachers use their summer vacation?

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