Learning Never Stops: PD Summer


This year, I will teach in all 12 months. My last day was June 2nd. My first day will be July 27. While I get that all those out there in the "real" world do this, it's not the norm for teachers and students.
Side note - Most teachers are only paid for the time that they are in the classroom. 180 days plus other mandatory days. For me, that's 182 days. Our checks get spread out the entire year. That's right, I don't actually get paid for the summers.
With all that being said, I don't know any teacher that takes the summers off. We are always learning and doing. That's who teachers are. A lot of us take the summer to dig into our personal passions a little more than what we do during the school year. Some relax.

Ok.

Let's be real for a second. Teachers are just as ready for a break as the students. I said it. It's true. This year, I was so excited for school to be out. I missed my own children. I missed my wife. I coached the awesome throwers on the track team this year, as well as basketball. That guarantees me 10 hour days + more on meet days. Basketball season is more like 11 hour days + more on game days. I don't say this for pity. I say it because I get tired. I get exhausted. I need a break. Teaching sometimes can be a drain on your emotional well-being. Have you ever locked yourself in a room with 30 6th graders? 180 days of that will leave you with more than a flesh wound.

Let's move on from that now. It's making me tired.

So, while I'm taking my summer off I'm also...

  • Reading 3 books on education that will probably end up taking me about 80 hours. That may seem like a lot of time. Yes, it is. I take notes on them, in them, and also try and think about how it will influence me teaching. I go back through my lessons, rework them based on the new knowledge I just obtained to make them better. 
    • Play Like a Pirate by Quinn Rollins
      • Adding games and toys to the classroom
    • The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros
      • Thinking liking a leader
    • Launch - Design Thinking Cycle ... by John Spencer and AJ Juliani
      • How to implement the design thinking cycle into my classroom
  • I will attend a conference where I will meet up with some edu-friends from my PLN and not only get caught up personally, but learn from them, as well. That's two whole days. 
    • I used to attend a lot of conferences. 
      • I now have two children. :)
    • I attended a "Canvas Learning Day" that my district put on because we are switching to Canvas as our LMS this year. 
    • I also presented at that conference on "Creating Graphics for Canvas"
      • You can find that here
  • Scan the twitterverse for twitter chats that are relevant to my teaching. This is a nightly and daily thing. 
    • #tlap
    • #sstlap
    • #weirdEd
    • #LaunchBook
    • #ditchbook
    • #PBL something I want to learn a lot more about this summer
    • and others that interest me
  • Participate in Voxer "chats." I do this throughout the day. 
    • Voxer has probably been the best personal PD besides twitter that I have come across. I am so blessed to be a part of one group that challenges my thinking and holds me accountable in the education realm. I do a lot of listening and learning from them. 
  • Podcasts
    • Podcasts are something that I've really gotten into this past year. I have found that I like listening to them more and more. I try to switch it up between life, leadership, coaching, and school topics. So far, these are the ones that I have enjoyed. I'd like to branch out even more as time permits.  I've probably listened to about 30 or more podcasts this summer already. That's probably roughly 30 hours or more.
      • DadsInEd
      • Hardwood Hustle
      • EntreLeadership
      • ESPNU College Basketball
      • Positive Coaching Alliance
      • Techlandia
      • Coaching U Podcast
  • Coaching
    • I haven't done a lot of basketball related things this summer. My players can go to weights and then to basketball workouts if they want. I did help run youth camp this week. That's about 4-5 hours a day for four days. 16-20 hours. 
  • Side jobs 
    • because teaching doesn't pay the best. Remember, I'm technically not getting paid for the summer. 
    • I also have done some freelance design work as well. Most teachers also work in the summer or have something they do to gain more money. I coach two sports and do design work. I used to do a ton of photography work as well. 
  • I've also posted a few things to my class Instagram to keep kids in the loop and for fun of course. 
All of that happened in June. 

I'm not sure how many professional development hours I am putting in, but it sure looks like a lot when it's put down on paper. 

Like I said, I don't tell you this for pity. Most teachers are doing the exact same thing I am. 

Learning doesn't stop. Developing as a leader doesn't stop.

Please stop assuming that teachers are sitting around all summer doing nothing. 

We're not. 

One more tidbit. Don't forget that when school starts, I have to be at school 45 minutes before the students for PD opportunities. Everyday.



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