Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Tuesdays at Two Writing Teachers!
"Are you enjoying your time off?" As soon as the calendar flips to June, every teacher is bombarded with this inevitable question from friends, family, acquaintances, and those random people you just met in line at the grocery store.

I think every teacher has a different response.

Some practically shout a resounding "YES!" while letting go of the worries of the school year. Some gush over increased family time and exciting vacations. Others smile with a quick "Yes, but..." and then attempt to patiently explain a few of the myriad ways teachers hone our craft over the summer.

Depending on my mood, I think I've been known to do all three, but as the political climate has shifted, I've tried to do more of the last choice. Since I've been getting more questions prefaced with "I know teachers work a lot over the summer, but...", I'll take a wild guess that many of you have been doing the same!

So, to everyone wondering if I'm enjoying my time "off": Yes, I am, but I'm really enjoying a blend of recovery, rejuvenation, and preparation!

Here's what I'm enjoying this summer:
  • playing with new technology and envisioning how it will transform my students' learning
  • cleaning and organizing my classroom, which always falls by the wayside
  • creating new materials, from digital activities to classroom learning aids
  • collaborating with colleagues across my district and outside of it
  • sparking new ideas, from nudges to blog posts to presentations
  • digging into standards and reflecting on my core philosophies
  • pushing my thinking through professional reading, conferences, & workshops
  • planning innovative activities and refining past practices
  • continuing to encourage students through Goodreads and our blog
  • curling up with books and notebooks
  • exploring this wonderful world with eager eyes and an open heart
  • savoring sweet time with my husband and parents
  • and, of course, resting and relaxing, with beautiful treats like this:
Lunch at my favorite summer spot! So much to enjoy with a view like this!
It's been a busy couple weeks of end-of-school craziness, but just writing this post makes me so excited and grateful for all I have to enjoy!

What will you enjoy in your time "off"?


  1. I hope you enjoy a bunch of lunches there. It looks lovely!

    As I just wrote on Cathy Mere's blog post, I know very few educators who truly take the summer off. It's impossible to do, really, if you're dedicated to your job. (And mostly all of the teachers I know are UBER dedicated to their jobs.)

  2. Your list looks like mine. Isn't it nice to have the flexible time to dedicate to all of these projects? In some ways, it's very invigorating to be able to take the time to dig in, like we want to do during the school year, but don't have enough time. Be sure to enjoy lots of those lunches in between your PD. :)

  3. It is a question to find answers for, and I answer differently depending on who's asking. I love not having to rush out of the house, and as you know have been very busy, but hoping to read and write a bunch this summer, & include some study of conferring. Will let you know what I discover at All-Write!

  4. Jennifer,
    Can I shout, "AMEN!"? It just makes me crazy when friends say I wish I would have decided to be a teacher so I could have June, July and August off. It just makes me want to shout. Lately, like you, I've tried to articulate all that I do in the summer to learn and grow as a professional. I've been searching my summer calendar for two weeks where I can put school COMPLETELY aside and I've yet to find it.

    You have some amazing learning opportunities planned for the summer. I appreciated the reminder of the importance of articulating all we do in the summer in today's ed climate.

    As Julie reminds us, we do have the perk of lunch in the summer. I think it's important to remember the perk of taking a restroom break whenever one is needed as well. LOL


  5. I'm trying to find some balance this summer. I usually go overboard on PD/work stuff. So far, it's working, but I have to make a very deliberate and conscious decision every day. Balance. It's hard.

  6. The people who envy teachers for those summer months have never worked as a teacher and don't understand the profession. It's like when people envy stay at home moms and don't understand how busy they are. Your summer list sounds wonderful - plenty of inspiration, learning, planning and rest.

  7. Creating new materials, and many other things on your list are also on my list. Anything that you have used last year or are planning to use this coming year that you are particularly excited about? I am trying to think of ways that would help our ELLs raise their math scores. Any suggestions?

  8. Your list sounds great! I can only imagine what amazing ideas you are coming up with for your classes next year. Hope the first couple of weeks of summer break have been the perfect mix of rejuvenation and productivity! :)


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