One of the best things about being an educator is that each year is a chance to improve. I never want to remain stagnant. I am a constant work in progress, or as my friend Jill Thompson would say, I live in "beta." I am constantly growing and evolving as an educator, becoming better and better each year. Summer is definitely a welcome break in the regular routine, but it is also a time for reflection, growth and learning.
Summer typically frees up a lot of time for reading--whether it's by the pool, on the patio, or on my favorite spot on the couch.
I have already purchased and will read Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck I will participate in a book club with a group of educators in my district and in my PLN. Special thanks to Ashley Hurley & Joshua Lemere for organizing it! We will connect via Twitter and Voxer. I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts using these two powerful tools.
Other Books on my Summer Reading List include:
Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age: Using Learning Science to Reboot Schooling by Frederick M. Hess & Bror Saxberg
Leading the New Literacies edited by Heidi Hayes Jacobs
The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined by Salman Khan
Students Take Charge: Inside the Learner-Active, Technology Infused Classroom by Nancy Sulla
I'll also have to sneak in some time to get lost in a few non-educational books from my favorite authors-- Emily Giffin, Jodi Picoult, and Jen Lancaster. :)
I'm going to ISTE and couldn't be more excited about it! I was honored to be selected to go with a great group of educators from my district from June 28-July 1st and jumped at the chance. The conference will take place in Atlanta, Georgia. This is my first time attending ISTE and I fully expect my mind to be blown and to come back inspired. I think it is going to be even bigger and better than I imagine. Blog posts & tweets to follow!
I was chosen to present at my district's Summer Institute and Summer Leadership Conference. For both the Summer Institute and the Summer Leadership Conference, I am collaborating and co-presenting with Ashley Hurley. Both sessions will eventually be added to my 'Professional Development Sessions' section underneath Teacher Resources. I also look forward to attending different sessions as a learner.
How will I sharpen the saw this summer and refine my craft?
I am excited to work with a great team in my district's Instructional Technology department to work on our Personalized Learning Initiative. Model schools for Personalized Learning have been identified and I am looking forward to working with the different design teams to make this a reality for students. I know I will learn a lot and connect with new colleagues.
I have also been hired to write curriculum for my district's Talent Development department. Last summer, I collaborated with an amazing team of educators to write and design a higher level concept-based unit for first grade. (You can find this unit and a presentation explaining the unit on my 'Professional Development Sessions' page.) This unit was piloted with our district's Learning Immersion & Talent Development Magnet Schools and a few other select elementary schools. It will be launched district-wide in the 2014-2015 school year. My team and I will combine our efforts once again to create another concept-based unit for first grade.
I was recently accepted into the Governor's Teacher Network and will spend this school year conducting action research and developing and designing professional development sessions to be shared across my state. I was shocked to be selected for this opportunity and will definitely spend quite a bit of time this summer thinking about my project-- how to effectively meet the needs gifted and ability readers within a balanced literacy framework.
And, of course, I will continue to connect with my PLN both near and far to help me grow over the summer and well into the school year.
Whew! As you can see, it is shaping up to be a busy summer! Believe it or not, I will also carve in time for relaxing, reading for pleasure, spending time with family and friends, and recharging so I am ready to tackle the 2014-2015 school year. There are a lot of exciting things ahead--both professionally and personally!