Typically, I teach at least one course and/or facilitate a few workshops, and take some courses each summer, as well as squeezing in a few weeks on PEI.
Some years I also participate on curriculum writing teams.
But this year is different. I am not teaching anything, and the only "course" I am taking is a week-long women's leadership conference in Port Elgin next week.
The implications are tremendous: How much TIME I will have, for a change, to pursue some self-directed professional learning... First, I want to finish researching and writing a blog post on the effective use of technology in the classroom and in particular, the evolution of the SAMR model for more "seasoned" teachers. I'm also keen to sit down and fiddle with Sesame or Edmodo, to learn more about how technology can help me effectively track student progress and communicate with families.
Speaking of technology and effective communication, I also need, NEED, NEED to deal with my non-work email in-box and respond to some of the emails that have been sitting unanswered for FAR. TOO. LONG!!!
I want to explore the critical thinking consortium's website and browse their library of resources, and I want to learn more about how Google apps work, including how I can digitize a criteria-based observational assessment tool my colleague and I developed this past year.
A Few Good Books
I have a stack of books to read, including some professional books borrowed from our librarian and a book given to me during a recent visit to the OCT, as well as a fun commentary on urban cycling which my instructional coach gave me as an end-of-year gift.
Classroom Management and Program
I want to develop a better self-serve system for absent students in a rotary model... and I need to find some evidence to support rotary in middle schools so that I can convince myself that it is not as horrid for kids and teachers as I currently believe it to be -- or work up the courage to gently confront my admin and persuade them to let me teach in a more integrated manner with fewer classes next year (I do love math, but I am desperately missing teaching Language Arts, and I absolutely despise having too many students to form deep and meaningful family relationships with)!!!
I want to explore in more depth online software like Kahoot, Padlet and Class Flow, and apps like Flipagram, Educreations and Sock Puppets to become more proficient with them, and to weed out the good stuff from the gimmicks.
Math, Math and more Math!
I definitely want to do some math: Solving some of the Waterloo math problems, and rereading key sections of Marian Small's K-8 book are key!! And I want to rethink my centres... I am envisioning a combined model where each unit begins with several 3-part, problem-based lessons and includes a "Math Buffet" of sorts that would allow students a chance to better consider what areas they still want to work on improving or extending while I support students individually or in small groups for 2-3 days each unit.
I need to save up some $ to replace the Beats pill I use in my classroom to play Bach while students are working on Math and Mozart when they are writing, and which one of my Grade 7s stole from my during the final week of school. :(
Assessment, Writing and Family Time
I want to prepare assessment tools and family communication pieces for each unit to reduce the "paper chase", and I want to review the OTF website's wealth of teacher resources on this and other topics.
I have also committed to writing a guest blog post and a twins magazine article, as well as three app reviews this summer. Oh, and I want to do some volunteer work at the 519 before I head off to PEI.
And that's not including a few "secret" projects I have on the go, and all the family-related, "fun" stuff on my list!!! But hey, teachers have the whole summer off, and since I really am not working this summer, there will be so much time, right???
It's true that I spent some quality time with my kids the first week and a half, caught up on some VERY much needed sleep, and focused on my partner for more than 30 seconds at a time in ways that went beyond "what's for dinner, honey?"
I also did a little blogging, and far too much screen sucking. But I have not completed a single item I had hoped to this summer.
And my in-box is still well over 150 emails long. :(
One thing is for certain: NO MORE BLOGGING UNTIL I START CHECKING OFF SOME OF MY "TO DO" LIST, lol!!!