Despite what others think, educator's summer times aren't all margaritas and sunshine. Work still has to be done. There are still the occasional meetings, the summer trainings, plus the overall preparation for the classroom, school or school year.
Even if we are not attending anything, we are thinking about it. Like many fields, education is always on our minds.
During this "time off," what should we be thinking about, what should be our focus?
I have some suggestions that will help prepare you for that upcoming school year.
1. Review your personal and professional goals.
These are your long-term and short-term goals. We all have things we want to do but sometimes putting them on paper makes them more achievable. You should review them regularly to see if they still fit your agenda. Heck, you can put them in a frame and keep them by your desk as a reminder. Over time, if you see a goal changes for you...CHANGE IT!
2. Choose something you will focus on and spend the whole year honing that craft.
We all have evaluations and we all have those areas we know we could get better. It might be technology or RTI or even our own organization. Whatever it is, identify it and target it. Then spend the entire year trying to get better at it. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
3. Completely clear your space (even change it).
Clutter can be the killer of creativity. To some it helps but not me. I find myself spending time trying to "straighten" things which is more time I am not focused on my improvement. Some thrive in clutter, if you are one of those...congrats! Here is a book I have been reading that helps putting things in perspective.
4. Choose one word that defines you for the entire school year.
Jon Gordon has a book called One Word. It is pretty simple, instead of lengthy goals and resolutions, he says we should simply choose one word that defines us. He does a heck of a better job explaining it that me, so check out what Jon Gordon says.
5. Start (and keep) a journal.
This is a good one and I am terrible at it! BUT, I will get better at this year. There are benefits to writing things down each day. Whether you write about successes, failures or even a good article you read, it does not matter it is yours. It does not have to be of the "Dear Diary" variety. In fact, many of the journals I have seen contain mostly pictures. Do whatever works for you but do it consistently. It is a great tool for reflection. Go get you a mole skin, or Field Notes, or even Post It Notes and start "collecting YOUR data."