Yes, many of us are on summer vacation right now, but shouldn’t that count for something? Here are several typical summer activities that I think should count as PD for teachers. Who’s with me?
Pool Time = Meditation and Mindfulness
Ok, so lying by the pool enjoying the sun while our minds quietly hum with random thoughts about whether or not to get a snack might not be exactly what the administration had in mind, but teacher burnout is real! A few hours a week lying peacefully by myself should definitely count as hours toward teacher wellness and burnout prevention PD!
Summer Sports = Incorporating Movement in the Classroom
I am probably never going to play tennis, go hiking, or challenge my students to a game of miniature golf, but that doesn’t mean that all the fun physical activities I’m doing this summer shouldn’t count for something, right? Maybe I can figure out a way to make a mini golf review game or encourage students to walk around the building during lunch.
Meeting Teacher Friends for a Drink = Collaboration and Team Building
Really, this one is legit. If I’m getting together with my teacher friends to socialize, we’re eventually going to talk about school, right? Just because we might have a beverage with an umbrella in it and also chat about vacations, social lives, reality TV, how amazing sleeping in feels, and our families doesn’t mean it isn’t collaborative team building. Come on, admin! Give me this one!
Summer Travel = Research for Upcoming Units
Surely, if I take my children to a national monument or park, that should count for PD for future history lessons or projects for historical fiction units, right? Same goes for time spent wandering through museums enjoying the artwork, sculptures, or other exhibits. Just because I’m going because I don’t want to miss the modern art exhibit at my local art museum doesn’t mean I might not talk about it with my students someday.
Reading = Reviewing Possible Novels for My Classroom Library
They say every classroom should have a well-stocked library with a variety of choices for all students. Therefore, everything I read this summer is a possible addition to my classroom library! All for the students, of course. I wouldn’t want to add something to the collection that I hadn’t previewed first! Oh my gosh, think of the hours of PD all that reading is!
Wine Tasting = Gathering Ideas for Good Science Experiments
Wine tasting, visiting a brewery … it all involves chemistry and science, doesn’t it? Just taking a tour of a winery is like taking a walk through the coolest science experiment ever! Of course I wouldn’t have my students create anything alcoholic. But I definitely think a visit to the winery will give me some ideas about what I can have my students create next year.
Herding Children = Improved Classroom-Management Skills
This one I’m actually serious about. After spending several weeks herding my children from one activity to the next, signing them up for camps, letting them be bored, keeping them from being on electronics, making them go outside to play, dealing with their requests for snacks every five minutes … I have had to come up with some really creative ways to keep my children from driving me completely crazy. I don’t care what you say, administrators. This TOTALLY COUNTS.
Relaxation = Improved Health and Wellness
Many school districts are starting to recognize that teacher wellness is an essential component to a smoothly running school that is prepared to meet the needs of its students. As we begin to catch our breath after a long school year, as we spend time with friends and family, enjoying our hobbies, and catching up on sleep, we ARE developing professionally. We are remembering who we are as individuals so we can bring something of value back to our classrooms in the fall. That is definitely worth some PD hours.
What are you doing this summer that you think should count as PD? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers Chat groupon Facebook.