Ok, we all know that one of the perks of being a teacher is that for about a month and a half we can think of this other than school. But if any of you are like me (which I’m guessing since you’re reading this blog in the summertime – you probably are!) summer isn’t as leisurely as people think. I feel that summer is a perfect time to reflect on my teaching philosophy, think about new things I want to try in my classroom, read blogs, maybe attend a workshop here and there, find ideas on the internet for experience-enhancing activities, and so on. The beauty of being a teacher is that we get to try things over and over again if we messed up the first time! I’m so happy that I get a new set of kiddos in August because I learn so much over the summer. USE YOUR FREE TIME WISELY! There aren’t many other careers where employees are given almost two months to just…reflect.
Also, don’t forget about your colleagues! Summer is a great time to meet with your fellow social studies teachers and chat about new things you are excited about for the coming year! Those two work days before school starts in August don’t leave me a ton of time to chit-chat. Connect with your department. Bounce off ideas. Share places that you’ve been to, blogs you’ve read, or things that have just popped into your head our of nowhere!
The idea for this blog post stemmed from a meeting I had with one of my colleagues today. She is the head of our social studies department and I was interviewing her for a masters course on curriculum development that I am taking this summer through KSU. While I was interviewing her, we had great discussions about our new curriculum for the coming year and things we wanted to try out with our students. She shared some awesome things that she received at her TAH meeting (See Glenn Wiebe’s previous post). It was so nice just to talk social studies again.
So, yes summer is a time when us teachers are supposed to relax and forget about our problems and issues and things that make us stressed. But I truly believe that the school year will go so much better if we take this wonderful time that has been given to us as a chance to reflect on why it is we do what we do and why we love to “do” social studies.