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Make the Most of Your Summer Planning for Next School Year
It is a common misconception that teachers have the summers off. Though you may not actually be inside the school building, you will undoubtedly be planning for the next academic year. Below are some tips you can use to make sure that you get the most benefit out of your summer planning time.
The field of education is always changing and evolving. State and national teaching standards change, and educators come up with new, innovative ways of teaching their students. Before you begin the planning process, conduct some research online to learn about the newest developments in the field. Make notes of new lesson plans that you like, as well as any changes to your required curriculum. You can also use research throughout the planning process whenever you have a question or an idea for a lesson plan.
When you are ready to get started on your summer planning, take some time to think about what you would like to accomplish during your next year of teaching. Brainstorm about new lesson plans, field trips or activities that you would like to do with your students. Write them all down, and then choose the ones that are most important to you. After you know what you want to do next year, make a list of the tasks you must accomplish in order to make each dream a reality.
After the brainstorming process is complete, use the list of tasks you created to compose a calendar for yourself and follow it throughout the summer. Set milestones for yourself to meet, and evaluate your progress along the way. Make sure that your objectives challenge you to work hard, but that you are able to meet them without overextending yourself. Though summer planning will help you prepare for the next year, it’s also important to take some time for yourself before you head back to work.
Work with a Buddy
Summer planning can be a lonely business. To keep yourself motivated and on task, Edutopia suggests that you find another teacher to plan lessons and activities with you. If possible, choose someone who teaches the same subject area and grade level as you. As you plan, bounce ideas off one another, collaborate and evaluate each other’s lesson plans. Provide each other with constructive criticism, and compliment one another on planning elements that you like.
Even during summer vacation, teachers are always thinking about their students and their lesson plans. They plan activities, set instructional goals and dream about the lives they will change when school is back in session. By following the tips listed here, you can get the most out of your summer planning sessions and ensure that you will be ready to face your students on the first day of school.