Jun 01, 2022
3 mins read
(Real) Teachers' posts and comments found here and there:
"I'm trying to do a lot of research this summer to better prepare myself for the uncertainty of next year"
"Has anyone started preparing lessons for the fall?" (posted in June)
"I always plan my entire year over the summer"
"You should overprepare! I always spend my summer planning for the entire year, making copies and I have lesson plans ready!"
"I plan to make videos for my online lessons which start in September"
"I'd love to know what supplies/classroom items I should be accumulating this summer"
A personal thought on productivity
Other teachers' extreme productivity has always made me feel inadequate. Am I being the best teacher I can be? Am I doing enough? Am I informed enough? Am I prioritising my students' education? Am I developing? Am I using these free months I have to prepare for what’s coming?
But then I also think that teaching is what I do, not what I am. Not only at least. Teaching is my job (and mission) but I am also a daughter, a partner, a sister, a friend, a human being.
So, I could plan all my year's lessons. I could attend many CPD courses and webinars. I could research and read, research and read. But I've decided I won't.
This summer, I'm going to prioritise my mental and physical health and I'm going to nurture relationships with family and friends. This is how I’ll be ready and recharged for another year of intense teaching - by the way, is that going to be face to face, online, blended? Who knows. I'm not going to worry about that for now.
An outline of my summer plan
There are so many things I love doing and that I don't easily find time or energy for during the school year - sounds familiar? Well, summer is the time for them.
Here’s my minimalist wishlist:
I'm going to read for pleasure. PD articles and even my students' essays can be interesting, but still. I'll read only what I feel like reading: scientific essays, but also YA novels, crime fiction, comics!
I'm going to declutter my devices and closet.
I'm going to enjoy places, and not buy souvenirs (never been a fan).
I'm going to take photos, but only a few. I'll remember that not everything needs to be captured in a photograph to be defined as beautiful and memorable. And I won't keep duplicates.
I'll reflect for a while on my teaching practice but only to understand what I want less of and more of in September. I’ll jot down ideas for lesson plans only if I feel like it.
To make sure I'm actually going to stick to this do-nothing-take-care-of-yourself plan, here's my 30-day Summer Photo Challenge. Feel free to join. You can edit the list as needed.
Take a picture of...
You reading outside (for pleasure, not PD!)
A pretty shell or pebble
You having a long walk in the nature
Something that smells delicious
A happy moment with a friend
You doing something creative
Something which reminded you of your students
picnic blanket and food
A nice podcast you’ve been listening to (screenshot)
Italian food someone has cooked for you
A book's passage that has made you smile
The perfect sound (recording/video)
A place you've never seen before
Something which reminded you of your school years
The phone you’ve left at home
A beautiful flower
A colourful fruit
Your decluttered closet
An animal that's been staring a you
A page from your reflection journal
Someone you love
The souvenir you're not going to buy
Something that made you think of a song
Something you've casually stumbled upon that might be nice to use in a lesson
An old photograph
Another ice cream (because why not?)
You smiling in the sun