Summer, summer, summertime

School is out and it’s sort of a buzz*

Teachers! Let me ask you – do you stop being a teacher when it’s summertime?

One gift that comes from summertime is the air to think freely, creatively. No bells, no meetings, no grading, no rushing to get that unit finished or this project thing started. Educators like us are always thinking of things we can do with our students, whether we’re going by the school calendar or the finally-now-I-have-some-flexibility-in-my-day-summertime-woohoo! calendar. And with the start of a new school getting closer and closer, now is an especially good time to kick your thinking into a higher gear. New ideas come from anywhere. Here’s a few of my own summer thoughts that I’d like to pass along. Sharing means caring!

  • Go pro, casually. Give yourself a little professional development. Not to be confused with more formal professional development, these are informal assignments to give yourself that keep you in the loop on what your students are into. Read a new YA novel, learn the latest dance craze (The Git Up, anyone?), binge a new show you know your students will quickly devour, too.
  • Have fun with re-entry.. Create a ”get-to-know-you student questionaire for the first day of class.. Include a mix of predictable questions and some fun curveballs. “What were the top 5 things you did this summer?” “If you could change into a dolphin or an eagle for one day, which one would you choose and why?”
  • Invent a new board game. Source some materials for an ‘undressed’ bulletin board for your students to fill in as part of the back-to-school process. Your chosen starter materials could introduce something you personally care about to your students (like your love for recycling, your interest in iconography, or preference for only orange colored Sharpies) while giving them a fun, artistic space to direct that creates some ownership of the classroom environment.

Got some ideas of your own? I expect you do! After all, you’re a teacher who’s always thinking of things to connect with your students, improve your classroom, and share your enthusiasm for learning all day, every day. So, please, share them with me and each other in the comments below!

*Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff, if you ever read this, I want you to know that it’s not summertime until I listen to your song!

Article written by Wendy Amato

Wendy Amato
Wendy leads education efforts across WorldStrides' family of brands, helping students of all ages realize transformative learning experiences through travel. When she's not planning innovative professional development for teachers, writing online courses for students, or leading WorldStrides' re-accreditation efforts, she's typically baking chocolate chip cookies or telling (bad) jokes to make her co-workers smile.