- Attend Edcamp Leadership. On July 11, educators from across the world will join together to participate in #EdcampLdr. The event will take place at approximately 40 sites across the United States, as well as international sites. Educational leaders will share online as well. If you can’t join in person at one of the locations, be sure to utilize the hashtag to participate and share. I will be attending Edcamp Leadership in Philadelphia, so reach out if you’ll be there!
- Try out MakerCamp. This site provides a series of making and building projects for kids ages 7-12. You can absolutely explore and find some interesting projects to bring back to your classroom in September. Projects include a Maker Film Fest, Battle of the Bands, and a Wearables Wonderland. I am personally looking forward to exploring the Maker Camp Air Show with my own kids this summer.
- Read a Book. Try any from our list of favorites. I am getting ready to read LAUNCH by AJ Juliani and John Spencer! Can’t wait to share some of the ideas from the book about Design Thinking with teachers in the fall.
- Start a Blog or Journal. #4OCF has given me the chance to reflect upon my own learning. I have found that it is a great way to document my thinking about certain topics. The summer is a great time to start a blog. If you are leery of documenting your reflection for the world to see, start writing in a journal or notebook daily. Jot down ideas for next year, or what worked and didn’t work in your classroom this year. Check out my posts all summer at fouroclockfaculty.com!
- Design Something New for Students or Staff. Think about what your classroom or school are missing. Try to fill that void by designing and creating something this summer! I am working on incorporating badges for professional development purposes.
- Visit Someplace Inspirational. Hopefully, you will have an opportunity to travel this summer. Even if you are staying local, find someplace that inspires or refreshes your thinking. My family and I are looking forward to visiting the Franklin Institute to check out the Science Behind Pixar exhibit.
- Explore a New App. During the year, we don’t usually have a great deal of time to explore or play with new apps or websites. Take time this summer to dive into a new app, so that you are ready to bring it to the classroom in September! Try mastering Google Classroom and use it as a communication hub for students and parents. I am looking forward to exploring the possibilities for Slack as a communication tool for teachers.
- Lead a Discussion Group. Don’t let the summer slide affect your own performance in September. Find some common ground with some of your colleagues, and use some of your time this summer participating in a discussion group. Choose a book to read and have discussions about how to apply the book’s ideas to your school. Pick several relevant topics like changing assessment or teaching creativity and share with your colleagues in a weekly discussion. Use Twitter or Voxer to connect or meet up in person each week. I’m looking forward to leading some learning sessions on Design Thinking and Coding this summer.
- Do Something That You’ve Never Done Before. Challenge yourself this summer. Find something that you’ve never done before and take time to do it. Never run a 5K before? Now is the time! Always wanted to visit Graceland? There is never a better time than this summer! I am looking forward to visiting the Liberty Bell with my family this summer. Although I have lived only 30 minutes from Philadelphia most of my life, I have never visited the Liberty Bell! This summer, it happens.
- Take Time for Yourself. Most importantly, the summer is your time to relax, refresh, and recharge. Find some things to do for yourself. Take a nap during the day. Even if you are working throughout the summer, take a day off and go for a hike, or to the beach. Take in a baseball game or a broadway show. Find the one thing that will make you happy this summer and do it. I’m looking forward to taking in a thunderstorm from my front porch while sipping on a nice tall glass of cool lemonade. Does it get any better?
Did you try one of our suggestions? Or have plans of your own for the summer? Share in the comments section below.