July is just beginning and it is my favorite month of the summer. It is the only true month of independence that most teachers have. As teachers, many of us have a good part of June off, but we are unwinding from the stress of the end of the year and cleaning all the areas of our house that we neglected during the school year and in August we are deluged with planning meetings and last minute
July is all about celebrating the independence of our country, but if you think about it, July is also a month of independence for most teachers. Why? July is the only month in the summer that teachers are free from the stress of the end of the year, and the stress of the new school year. Making July the perfect time to exercise your freedom to learn, read, connect in anyway that will help you evolve as a teacher and improve your ability to reach more students in the upcoming school year.
Need some surefire ways to use your time independence to recharge and refresh your self and your teaching toolbox, so that in the fall you can reveal a sparkling approach to your curriculum? Begin by allowing yourself the freedom to reflect on your teaching. Pick one thing about your teaching that you would like to improve, or a new approach that you want to try next year. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time during the school year to reflect or problem solve how to set up my classroom or curriculum so that learning is optimized and all students are engaged. It is with that in mind that I use the freedom of summer to exercise my independence to connect, engage and interact to improve my teaching.
If you are interested in using this month of learning independence to improve your teaching here are some ideas to get you started.
1.Use this time to become connected to other great educators. In my opinion the teachers that are connected will end up in front of those who are not connected. I personally take this time to find educators in the DEN, on or through social media to share great ideas with or to ask for help with an idea. I love to share ideas and collaborate on projects and love connecting with new people. If you want to add a new teacher connection then email or send a tweet to me or any of the other wonderful Discovery Star Educators and see how easy it is to connect through the DEN. Don’t know anyone you want to connect with? I will be happy to give you a few names of educators worth following if you tweet me @ tracieb on Twitter. I have lots of ideas to share on iPads in the classroom, study skills and many other ideas. Write me and let’s collaborate on a new idea.
2.Another great idea for the month of July is to read one book about teaching that can help you become a better teacher. I am reading Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov and Norman Atkins. Another great book I am trying to make time for is Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Education by Dave Burgess.
3.Choosing one new idea to implement in your classroom is also an option. Are you ready to try flipping your classroom or do you want to learn more about implementing project-based learning in your class. Then use this gift of time you have to watch a tutorial or read some great articles to get new fresh ideas from. Trying to learn something new while you have leisure time is crucial for creativity and innovation. This July I am going to learn how to use Discovery Education’s Board Builder. My goal is to make a board for each subject I teach and use them inside assignment builder to help build engagement with long-term assignments.
Hopefully, some of these ideas will spark some great connections or learning. Trust me, using your independence in July to improve your teaching style, connect with teachers, or plan new curriculum, makes for a great August. When August arrives you can enjoy the last few days of summer knowing that you are ready to reveal exciting and promising new ideas once the school year starts.