Monday, June 1, 2015

The Not So Lazy Days of Summer

Principal ponderings...

Well on this dreary, cold, wet Monday (only 2 more Monday musings to go!)...I'm sure everyone has summer beach days on their mind right?!  I'm going to at least visualize my beach days today to keep me warm.  Whether the weather looks like it or not, summer time is almost here.  Yes, that means relaxing, maybe no alarm clocks, no deadlines, etc.  But I know that educator summer days are usually anything but lazy.

Summer means a chance to work on a lot of our own professional growth.  It means actually having the time to sit down  and read some professional books that we have wanted to get to all year.  Do you have a few titles that you have jotted down or some recommendations from your peers?  If you are looking for a good professional book, let me know.  I only have a few! ;)  Here is a link to a post that talks about 5 books recommended for professional development.  I know I already put the Digital Leadership one on my list.

Summer also means a chance to write.  The number one way to be a better teacher of writing is to write ourselves.  So as you plan your day trips and your hammock time, think about how you will incorporate some writing into your summer schedule.  Will you write in a journal?  Will you write letters to students or friends?  It's always so exciting to get something that's not a bill in the mail!  Will you sit in your backyard and just write about the sights and sounds?  Or maybe you will write your opinion about changes that we should make in the school!?  Here is a link to a post about summer writing for teachers.

Maybe summer time means a chance to think about how you want to rearrange your classroom.  I know that used to be my favorite thing to do each year...redesign my learning space!  There are lots of youtube clips and posts about ways to set up your classroom so it meets your learning goals.  Here is a fun tool that allows you to actually build a map of your classroom.

Summer might also be a time when you can connect with either your colleagues here or educators in other districts.  I know I love to get together with my friends who I used to teach with and while we are sitting enjoying lunch at a restaurant without the stress of having only 10 minutes before you need to pick up kids from the cafeteria (what is that like!?), we inevitably 'talk shop.'  It's always great to be able to bounce ideas of of them or learn about something new from them.  If you haven't checked out an EdCamp or an Unconference, here is a link to events that will be happening all over the country.  You can always follow the event on Twitter even if you can't attend.  And in August, there will be one in Sandwich so you could take a trip to the Cape!  Scholastic is hosting a reading summit in July.  Of course it is the one week that I am going on vacation!  But one of my education rockstar heroes will be there...Donalyn Miller.  If you get a chance, think about attending this event!

So yes, summer is approaching, and it will be time to kick back and relax.  But I know you will also be a time to focus on recharging yourself with your own professional learning.  I don't know about you, but I can't wait!

Currently reading:
Sad to admit that it was a rough week for reading.  While I did manage to read several online articles, I wasn't able to get to much of my book pile.  I am still slowly working my way through The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck.  Hoping this week will be a better reading week!  Here is one of my many TBR (to be read) piles:

Events this week: 
Tuesday - Dr. Rodriguez visits in the am, 4th graders visit Groton Library @ 10:30, 3rd grade visits Williams Barn @ 12:30
Wednesday - 3rd graders visit Williams Barn @ 9:30 and 12:30, 4th graders visit Groton Library @ 10:30, Kindergarten chorus practice @ 2:25, Liz attending middle school staff meeting @ 2:45
Thursday - half day, 12:15 dismissal, Library Design sub-committee meeting @ 9:00, Evaluation Committee Meeting @ 1:00 at Prescott
Friday - Kindergarten chorus practice @ 2:25

Great things I noticed last week:

  • Our 3rd graders got their planting in just in time before this rainy week!  I managed to catch Mr. Smith's class out front planting.

  • On Friday, our paraprofessionals were treated to a lovely, although slightly hot and sticky, luncheon in the library.  Thank you for all you do for our students and the school!

  • On Wednesday, I had a chance to represent Groton-Dunstable at DESE's spring convening in Marlborough.  Dr. Rodriguez was presenting.  The focus was on educator evaluation, and I attended several great sessions.  I will be meeting with the district evaluation committee this week and plan on sharing what I learned.  I loved this analogy that Brockton school district shared:
  • Wednesday night several FloRo staff helped out at Scoopfest in Dracut.  This event benefits the Joey Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation.  FloRo staff ran a very popular coloring and colored hair extensions.  I'm wondering if we should open up a shop in the school?! ;)

Check it out:
Love this short clip about reading giving you superpowers!  Would be great to share with your students!  I will be sending an email out to parents about summer reading and math.
Interesting post about looking at writing with a different lens:
Grant Wiggins, an author, blogger, educator, advocate, who I certainly have followed and enjoyed reading about or talking with on Twitter, passed away last week.  Here is a tribute to him with some of his quotes:
And at this time of year...some stress busters are important for all of us!

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