Sunday, May 10, 2015

It's that time of the year again...

The weather is getting warmer...

There is more and more to do outside...

The always exciting standardized testing is either over or coming to a close soon...

You're tired and your patience is wearing thin...

Summer is getting close...
At this juncture you have to make a choice about how you wish to end the year.

This goes the same for teachers and administrators who are equally feeling the tension of the end of the year push.

Are you going to do as you've always done and play it safe?

Are you going to cut a few corners and take the easy route because you know there are only a few weeks left so what's the big deal?

Are you going to lower your expectations for not just yourself, but also for those around you?

Are you going to end this year quietly and uneventfully...?

We all have a choice to make.

We all have these last few weeks to make a bigger or more positive impact.

We all have a choice to make that will determine how our students remember us...

Remember teachers, if you don't want your students to check out early and coast through the end of the year, then you better not get caught doing just that.

This also goes for administrators... don't get caught checking out early if you expect your teachers to push strong through the end of the year.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Summer vacation... myth or reality?

It's the end of the school year for many educators. After a long hard year, the school year is either almost done or will be finished soon.

And with this approaching end, so it begins...

It seems they start earlier every single year, but as the school year approaches its end, the Facebook posts and the tweets celebrating the end of the school year are in full effect.

Things like this are appearing on Facebook walls and Twitter feeds almost daily...

'I now have time to do everything I haven't had time to do during the school year.'

'No more alarm clock for me for the next few months.'

'Every day is a weekend day now during summer vacation.'

'No more grading, parent phone calls, and lesson plans until next year.'

'Finally, time to relax and time to kick my feet up and enjoy the pool and enjoy the summer.'

Now, here's the deal, I know teachers work extremely hard during the school year. I was a teacher once, so I know what it is like. There are long days and long nights and the level of appreciation for what teachers do isn't always on par with the work.

There are also many teachers who work summer school, work on curriculum writing, and/or participate in some form of professional development during the summer months. Though this doesn't consume the entire summer, the reality is, there are many teachers who work on education related tasks during the summer.

Teachers as a whole are a hard working group of people just like most other adults who go to work to support their families and their lives.

However... I wonder how the general public, who doesn't work in education, perceives these Facebook posts and tweets?

I wonder how the average adult who doesn't work in education feels knowing they still have to go to work all summer?

I wonder...

Having said that, we educators play a significant role in how the public views who we are and what we do. The image we paint and the image we portray and share with others can either benefit education as a whole or perpetuate the 'summer vacation' perception.

Just wondering... but should we tone it down a bit when it comes to 'summer vacation' and be a little more cautious in how we celebrate the end of a long year?

Or, should teachers simply admit that having time off in the summer is a perk of the job? Is there anything wrong with saying that time off in the summer is a perk? Many jobs and professions have perks, so why should education be any different?

In closing, I remember what it was like to be a teacher during the summer. Sure, were there things that I did to prepare for the next school year, absolutely! Did I take classes toward my Masters and Doctorate (which led to automatic salary increases), of course I did! Did I sleep in some mornings and did I stay up late some nights without having to worry about work, yes, lots of times! I worked, but I also enjoyed a much slower pace that allowed me to relax, recharge and rebalance myself.

So... how should we be approaching this 'summer vacation' perception?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How do you respond to #change?

How about this as a self-reflection activity to do in your head or possibly even with your colleagues…

In regard to change:

Are you a sailboat… do you easily go with the latest trend and go with the flow so to speak? It doesn’t take much to get you moving. You welcome and look forward to change.


Are you a tugboat… do you take things slowly and do you try to be methodical in your approach? You like precision and intentionality and you want to know pretty clearly where you are headed. You want to understand change.


Are you an anchor… it takes quite a lot of time and energy to get you moving. You fear and resist change.

So, which are you? Or, are you something not on this list?

I'd like to thank Steven Shaw for the inspiration behind this post: