7 Ways to Recharge Your Passion for Teaching This Summer
1. Build your PLN. A PLN, or Personal Learning Network, is a hot topic in education right now. But connecting with others is not about buzzwords. If you're one of the only building specialists in your content area, it can be hard to find others to collaborate with. Connect online. Reach out. Read blogs, leave comments, join Twitter, take time to get to know others whether they are down the hall from your classroom or on the other side of the world. Every person you meet is someone you can learn from. And to someone else? You are that person.
2. Pour into your passion. Pick up an old hobby that you've missed, or start a new hobby. Cooking. Painting. Scrapbooking. Do something that you love. Nothing recharges you more than spending some time doing what you love. It's what we want to model for our students, so it's a great way to refuel your own fire for learning.
3. Check out webinars. The National Science Teacher Association has a variety of free, NSTA archived webinars. ASCD's Virtual Learning Network offers a variety of free webinars on specific topics. Simple K-12 has a great variety of upcoming live webinars. Check something out! You can even learn on a laptop poolside or in your pj's sipping morning coffee. That's the beauty of summer learning.
4. Read teaching blogs. Well, you're reading this, so you've already accomplished one of these! Reading reflections by other educators can get you thinking about your own classroom and instill excitement for the new year ahead.
5. Attend an edcamp. Edcamps, also called "unconferences," are gatherings of passionate educators who share and connect. The Edcamp Wiki has a list of locations, or find one that's coming up in the fall and register. The discussions you will find yourself having can be a great way to ignite new ideas and new learning for you this summer.
6. Go on a field trip. You know that place you've always wanted to check out? Or maybe it's a favorite local landmark you haven't been to in years? Or that field trip you've considered for your class? Visit. Look around and see how it might fit with your curriculum. Ask what they offer for teachers. If you have your own children, create a field trip calendar, and one day each week, go visit a new spot. Think of it from a learner's perspective. It can be a fun way to spend the summer learning and enjoying it.
7. Slow down. This one is hard to do. We are all used to going a mile a minute to get life accomplished in the midst of a busy career. Schedule in some time for slowing down this summer. Take a nap in the grass. Lounge on the beach. Read a book until late into the night. Build a tent of sheets in the living room and watch a movie with your kids.
Most of all this summer? Enjoy time doing what you love. Because doing what we love reminds us all what we love about teaching and learning. Relax. Refresh. Renew your teaching spirit and your passion ... and enjoy!
Krissy Venosdale is an Innovation Coordinator, creative spirit and lifelong learner. She works every day toward making a world where all kids have the opportunities to pursue their greatest passions and are inspired to dream big. She shares her heart and soul of learning at venspired.