Summertime!We are about a month away from the first day of school. The summer has been a whirlwind of work and excitement. It has really made me reflect on how we teachers spend our summers "off". It is always the first thing people think about when they find out you're a teacher. They say things like, "Man, it must be nice having summers off.", "Hey part-timer! Why don't you work all year long like the rest of us?', or "I'd love to just sit around and do nothing for 10 weeks!"
I guess nobody ever thinks to ask athletes the same question. I've never heard an interviewer ask Peyton Manning, "So Peyton, what's it like to only work 16 to 20 Sundays a year?" Why not? One, because he is famous and a "superstar". Also, because we know that he works on becoming a better quarterback every offseason. In fact, I just read an article about it today.
In the article Peyton talks about how the NFL lockout has hindered his summer workouts and his recovery from neck surgery. He hasn't had access to the same trainers, or facilities and he feels like it has hindered his rehab and preparation for the upcoming season, if there is one.
Anyway, I keep asking myself this question, have I taken advantage of my offseason to make myself a better teacher and educator? Am I working on my weaknesses? Am I perfecting my strengths? I feel like I can honestly say, yes. Between my masters classes, conferences (both in person and online), books that I've read, and collaborating through social media, it has truly been a summer of learning.
The purpose of this post is to encourage all of us to be better. We can always improve. In fact, we must always improve. As Vicki Davis said this week at my corporation's elearning revolution conference, kids are not numbers. Also, as Professor Stephen Heppel pointed out, when you put in the word "education" into www.taggalaxy.de you get a globe full of faces. Because education is about kids. It's about helping our students unlock their potential. May all of us educators work as hard at improving our abilities as much as Peyton Manning works at becoming a better quarterback.