Summer Vacation

Dean Shareski has an interesting post about summer holidays. As Dean comments

For me though, I don’t get as excited as I once did about June and it’s not just that I haven’t spend 185 days with kids, although that does make a difference, but as I said before, I still longed for summer vacation even after I left the classroom.

Here are a couple of reasons:

I’m still working.

Learning Never Stops. This is really the reason right here.

As I read through Dean’s post, I found myself nodding and agreeing. As a school principal, I have come to realize that summer holidays is just a time when students are not present. I’m not doing the paperwork or the other things that are connected with school administration. Instead, I find myself doing things that will allow us to achieve our goals for the upcoming year, planning out our staff pd times dealing with goals and looking at what we might be able to do for those students that are not engaged by school.

I will be searching and reading, looking for ways to help the teachers engage students in different ways using different tools that are available. Since I will be spending time working with teachers using some new technological tools, I want to be sure that they are available and working. I also want to keep in contact with some of the people I’ve met through Ning and other social networks, discussing different ways to bring schools from various places together with our students. I will also be planning some presentations that I can use to introduce teachers to different tools that they might try or different people whom they might look at for ideas about using the tools.

It won’t be the same as when school is in session but the with the advancements that are taking place in different areas, the time has passed when one could take 5 weeks off from school. Now, in that time, so many things will happen that one would find themselves playing catch-up for too long. Instead of this, a new way of looking at teacher time off needs to be envisioned. Just like the children we teach, if teachers are not using the tools during the summer, they will lose some of what they have learned during that time away. That is why, I believe, it is crucial that teachers have access to the tools they will be using during the year, working with them and implementing their use throughout their year. A laptop for each teacher might be a start but without the assistance of someone who can guide them, I don’t think a laptop will change much. I think there needs to be more structure, where they are attending and participating in different opportunities to use the tools so they become seemlessly used in day-to-day teaching.

This summer a group of educators have decided to gather their resources and ideas on a wiki to aid in the planning and teaching using various tools. If you are interested, please head over and use summer07 to get in.  This project came out of a discussion on Classroom20 on Ning. If you are interested in joining and working with different educators as they develop their skills in using various tools, head on over. Like anything that is just starting, things are a bit chaotic but that’s the fun part. You’re never quite sure what will happen next.

Summer looks to be a busy time – reading, chatting, planning and collaborating.  As Dean suggests

I think it’s called life long learning or something like that.


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