Summer is for learning!

Mid-July. As an educator, where does that fall in your “summer calendar?” For educators around Nashville, it’s the month where things tend to begin speeding up again. Hopefully some relaxation has taken place, maybe a trip has been taken…maybe a book or two for leisure has even been read!

Have you ever had a friend that doesn’t work in education give you a bit of light-hearted grief for “always having the entire summer off?” My response, both made easily, but also truthfully, is “Well, we don’t.” Pretty much every teacher I know does work over the summer for their teaching position. Many are attending professional development (perhaps local, but most often requires travel), actively working on developing curriculum for the upcoming year, or spending time reading professional literature to help mold, inspire, and alter the craft. It’s what we do because it’s our passion, our calling. While it may be important for our overall health to take a break from all things education, very few do, because we love reflecting on what we’ve done and brainstorming on how to make it stronger and different in the next year.

Some summer work that I’m looking forward to is this upcoming weekend. The third grade team that I am beyond grateful to be a part of is getting together both Saturday and Sunday in order to create and write curriculum for our Social Studies and Science curriculum. We have an opportunity to do something AWESOME and I know that we’re going to be able to do it, with revisions and alterations continuously made over time. We are creating, essentially, a yearlong “Tennessee Study” in which we will utilize and blend our reading, writing, social studies, and science units. Specifically, we’re aiming to incorporate Project Based Learning and technology. It’s a steep charge, but one we’re thrilled to be taking on. As a result, I’ve spent a lot of time reading up on Project Based Learning. There is SO much information out there, but I’ve been drawn specifically into the Buck Institute of Education. I am so excited to build something so engaging, worthwhile, and powerful for our students, building something truly student-centered. I am thankful that we are able to make changes to our curriculum, to create something that we think will benefit our students, putting best practices first. We will be tired, but it will be so worth it!

What work have you done over the summer? Have you read a great book? Attended an inspiring conference? Built new curriculum or revised current curriculum? I’d love to hear about any and all of them, so please leave a comment! In the meantime, you’ll find me by the pool reading this.

Are you familiar with PBL?? Help us out and share some tips! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and sharing ideas – comment, contribute, and share!

3 Replies to “Summer is for learning!”

  1. Super excited that you’re starting your PBL journey! We have definitely been bitten by the PBL bug down here in Australia. You are very welcome to join our Australian PBL Network on Facebook – we have over 1600 educators from Australia and around the world sharing their ideas and asking for advice.
    I created a website for staff at my school to help them navigate the PBL journey, feel free to use it and share it:


    1. Biancah- Your website is AMAZING! I have it bookmarked and will definitely be showing it to our team this weekend while we get started on this work. It will be incredibly helpful and the Project Planning page is SO ORGANIZED! I am hoping to be able to attend a professional development workshop on this at some point soon. In just reading about it, I’d say I’ve been bitten by the same bug, but know I have a lot of learning left to do! Also wondering if we can somehow connect students from my classroom in 3rd grade (ages 8-9) with students in a classroom in Australia. I’ve requested to join your group on Facebook. Looking forward to all of the possibilities! Thank you for your comment, insight, and help!

      1. Hey Kyleen! Thanks for your kind words! You should definitely connect with my husband, Lee, he is a primary teacher currently teaching Year 5 (10/11 year olds) and does PBL all the time. He’d be perfect to Skype with! Pop up post up on the FB group and I’ll connect you guys! 🙂

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