Prompt: How did you spend your summer vacation?
Oh yes, I have heard it, as have many other teachers. The question that seems to plague us as we pack up our supplies for a few short weeks of "summer break".
"What do you do with all your time off?"
My response, "Time off? What's that?"
To be honest, I don't know how to take time off. When I see a free day, I immediately begin to fill it up. In fact, before the school year was finished I began planning - filling my summer days with training opportunities, endorsement classes, and a few family outings.
So, now that summer has come to a close, you ask, "how did I spend my summer vacation?"
This summer, I took 9 credits to complete my technology endorsement, and completed two certifications - Google Certified Educator - Level 1 certification and Powerschool Unified Classroom Trainer Certification. I also taught two endorsement courses for teachers. I learned so many things this summer my brain is on overload. I learned about blended learning in the classroom, personalized learning for all students, teaching in the digital world, how to build a website, how to incorporate video lessons and student projects, writing in the digital world, how to navigate the school's learning management system and how to create online assessments for my students.
I didn't spend my entire summer break taking or teaching classes however, I did have time for relaxing. I spent time camping on Cedar Mountain, and we visited our cabin on Kolob Mountain once or twice. I travelled to Nashville, Tennessee for some training, but was able to enjoy the Grand Ole' Opry and other fun sites while visiting there. And, I just returned home from a trip to Yellowstone National Park with my family.
As you can clearly see, summer vacation for teachers isn't "time off" really. If I had to label it, summer vacation is really just an extended version of our "planning time". Of course, we travel and plan our "vacations" for the summer time, and we may not have a set schedule or a regular work day for a couple of weeks, but we are still planning and preparing and learning.