CT3 works with thousands of teachers across the country. In this follow up to “10 Things Great Coaches Do Over the Summer“, we reached out to Mary Snellgrove, a Real Time Teacher Coach in the New Miami Local School District in the greater Cincinnati area.
An experienced teacher and coach, Mary gave us 10 things that great teachers do over the summer to prepare themselves for the new school year.
- Professional Reading: Great teachers take time in the summer to read a book that will deepen their learning about best practices and how to support student learning and teacher growth. Books that she recommends are Notice & Note: Strategies for Close Reading, Why Do I Need a Teacher When I’ve Got Google?, Choice Words: How Our Language Affects Children’s Learning, and Teaching with the Brain in Mind. (CT3 also recommends reading Teaching with Poverty in Mind).
- Personal Reading: Great teachers take time in the summer to reenergize themselves with a good book or two. Sometimes, those books might be a new junior novel or trend setting book. Check out the New York Times’ Best Sellers list to jump-start your summer reading.
- Renew The Learning Space –aka classroom : Great teachers think about how they can continue to organize the space they have and create a safe and conducive learning environment for their students.
- Connect on Twitter: Professional networking can be difficult for teachers but is essential. Twitter is an amazing hangout for great teachers. Twitter gives great teachers access to other great teachers, great ideas and great professional learning communities.
- Attend a professional learning workshop or webinar: Great teachers will take advantage of learning opportunities provided by their schools, or local educational service centers. Technology has also allowed teachers to take part in professional learning through online work and webinars.
- Connecting with students and families: Great teachers use this time in the summer to think about and create open communication with families and students. It is also important to get out in the community where you teach. Meeting new families, students and coaches will help a great teacher make lasting connections with families.
- Update their webpage for their class: Great teachers have their own webpage to highlight polices, procedures, activities and instruction. The webpage is also a great place for parents to find resources, see what great things are happening in the classroom and feel connected to their children and school.
- Check out a new tech tool: Great teachers will explore new tech tools during the summer. They will try to find one app, one new online formative assessment or engaging interactive way for students to learn. (CT3 has seen many teachers use Class Dojo or Google Classroom).
- Stay connected with colleagues: It’s always a great idea to meet with team members during the summer. Meeting outside of the school building and just enjoying each other for a little while will help build relationships that will foster a productive working relationship in the school year.
- Self-care: Great teachers realize that the summer is short and this is the best time to check out new strategies and spend time in their classrooms preparing for the next group of students and families. However, really great teachers will also take advantage of the fact that the day is theirs to manage how they wish. While it is important to continue learning and growing it is essential to take time to relax, rejuvenate, spend time with loved ones and do something for yourself. If you’re lucky, some of these summer-only activities will become part of your daily routine.
by Mary Snellgrove
Mary is an instructional specialist for Butler County Educational Service Center in Hamilton, OH. Mary works to create a stronger and more consistent culture for students at her school through the strategies of the No-Nonsense Nurturer® model.