Non-teachers love to tout how lucky we educators are to have "summers off," but any teacher will tell you that summer is for Professional Development...and almost always unpaid. Personally, I think it's a nasty little trick the educator universe plays on us, given that we're pretty much all lifelong learners and can.not.STAND idle brain time. They get way more bang for their buck in us this way.
It's quite clever, really.
We spend August-May running the rat race, desperately seeking to do Very Big Things with our students and in our respective schools/libraries/classrooms. There's never enough time to do it all, and we always long for the next go around to do it better/faster/bigger.
We dream of summer and the breathing room it will provide...then a few weeks pass by and we're chomping at the bit to go sit in a workshop or conference or Twitter chat or webinar or SOMETHING and.just.learn.
I called myself taking it easy this summer, and have cut back on my commitments...which still boil down to two conferences, numerous planning meetings, and an intensive two-day workshop. I'm participating in our district's annual tech camp tomorrow. Last year I presented while weathering way-too-early contractions, so with that still freshly in mind this year has to be just a party.
My session touches on the mobile technology revolution and how that is impacting our students, with specific focus on the awareness of certain apps. I shared about this briefly at a parenting seminar in April and have been thankful for the last few months to research, tweak, and refine the information so that what I am sharing is most current, accurate, and reliable.
I know this is not a cutting edge topic...but I would say it's a bleeding edge issue. I truly believe that it's our job to help mentor our students and our personal children through learning how to use technology well, to learn how to construct boundaries for their digital life. We can't do that if we don't know what's out there for them to face.
And that, my friends, is why I volunteer my summer away for PD.