Summer (brief though it may be) offers me the chance to do a lot of the focused learning that I never manage to get to during the school year. So, this summer I'm taking four different classes. One class, Principalship K-12, is already finished. It met on a Saturday from 9-5 and then Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:30-4:30. Long days, but a fantastic class. Now I'm taking three online classes. One is on Geometers Sketchpad. I signed up for the class to learn how to use the software, but I'm learning more about geometry than I dreamed was possible. Another class is on digital portfolios, something I want to implement with my kids this next year. Finally, I'm taking a class on the read/write web.
The principalship class is part of my endorsement in supervision and administration. The other three classes are simply because they interest me. I'll be blogging more on these classes in the future. And on how it feels to be on the other side of the classroom.
My reason for mentioning them is that I've been thinking about how teachers spend their summers. Many people think teachers have it made because we get our summers off. And technically, they're right. However, the teachers I know spend that time doing a ton of professional learning - and they don't get paid a thing. They take classes, attend workshops, read professional books,plan, and more. Teachers, as a general rule, want to do the best job they can for their students. In order to do this, they work long hours during the school year and spend their free time continuing their own learning. I'm not sure what this means or why it feels so important to me. But, it does feel important.