ReIgnite your Passion this Summer

As the last days of school are among us, teachers around the globe are looking forward to summer break. This is also the best time to reflect on the successes and challenges of the school year. After talking with some first year teachers, this is a practice that comes naturally to them as they strive to do things differently next year. How many experienced teachers do you know that reflect upon their school year and strive to do better next year? How many of us have the same passion for teaching and learning that we had at the beginning of our careers? Thankfully, I am more passionate about teaching and learning than I was during my first year. I have found several ways to reignite my passion, not only at the end of a long school year but throughout the year as well.

tw pres

Listening to educational leaders is a great way to re-energize your attitude. After listening to Todd Whitaker @ToddWhitaker at a staff development day last week, my excitement for next year has me thinking about ways that I can be a better teacher. One of the things he said during his keynote that stuck with me was, “Great teachers don’t have rules, they have expectations.”   We need to be consistent and have higher expectations for our students. Often, when we have rules, students want to know the consequences of breaking those rules. This helps them weigh whether breaking the rule is worth it. Whitaker pointed out that the greatest gift that we can give our students is confidence and when we criticize them, we chip away at their confidence. We need to create relationships with our students and increase our praise of their accomplishments.

Another way to renew your passion is to find staff development opportunities throughout the summer. You can attend workshops in your area or look for statewide or nationwide conferences depending on your budget. You can also look into attending different events virtually. Some of my favorite annual conferences include ISTE, BLC, and TCEA. (click on each for more information.) I’m really excited about virtually attending FlipCon14 in a couple of weeks. I have heard Jonathan Bergmann @jonbergmann

and Aarons Sams @chemicalsams speak several times and I always come away with something new. Another speaker that I’m looking forward to hearing again this summer is Alan November @globalearner. If you can’t attend conferences, you can still learn something new by following the conference hashtags on Twitter.   { ISTE – #iste2014 ; BLC – #blc14 ; TCEA – #tcea15 ; FlipCon – #flipcon14 }

Webinars are also a great way to discover new ideas for your classroom. You can watch and learn at your convenience.  Catching up on your summer reading list is also a great idea!  Check out the resources listed below.

Webinars: Google, EdTechTeacher, SimpleK12, Sophia, TechLearning, TCEA

My summer reading list includes:  teachlikepirate goodteachersdoflippedlearningclassroomhabit    essentialquestions    blendedlearning    flipping2   goinggoogle    googleapps

All of these things can help rekindle your passion for teaching and help you learn new tools and strategies to help your students learn. However you recharge over the summer, remember that attitude is everything! Keep your interactions with students, parents, and fellow teachers positive. In the words of @ToddWhitaker, “Raise the praise, minimize the criticize!”

raise the praise

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