10 Ideas for Getting Started with #SummerPD

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This post is part of a series on #SummerPD for pre-service teachers. Check out 4 Reasons Why Pre-Service Teachers Need #SummerPD.

1. Make a reading plan. I’m a devoted reader in part because I always have a plan for what to read next. If you aren’t sure how to find books you want to read, join GoodReads, follow #bookaday on Twitter, browse bookstores, ask friends and colleagues for recommendations, or check out a great annual “Best Of” book list like Scholastic Library Journal’s lists.

2. Start a writer’s notebook. My notebook is the place where I try out new ideas, reflect on my teaching, and capture my life and learning. My post on Getting Started with Writing Workshop has suggestions and further resources for working with a writer’s notebook.

3. Select one professional development book to read. Not sure where to start? Check out #cyberPD on Twitter: many teachers have posted photos of their #summerPD book stacks.

4. Subscribe to an education podcast. Try Truth for Teachers, EduAllStars, or Talks with Teachers. Some education podcasts go on hiatus during the summer months, but you can still listen to old episodes. (To learn more about using podcasts in your classroom, check out What Teens Are Learning from Serial and Other Podcasts and Meaningful Stories: How Teens Connect with StoryCorps and Podcasts.)

5. Select one app, tech tool, or social media site to play with, explore, or master. Need ideas? Check out 52 of the Best Apps for Your Classroom and The 31 Educational Web Tools Every Teacher Should Know About.

6. Brainstorm a list of burning questions you have about teaching and select one to explore. Burning questions, which I’ve written about here and here, tend to be big and not neatly answerable. They’re the questions you’ll probably return to again and again in your teaching, and your answers will change as you deepen your understanding of what it means to teach and learn.

7. Explore one methodology you’d like to learn more about. Methods courses tend to cover many things superficially or one thing in great depth (I’m in the one thing in great depth camp). That means there’s a lot left to explore when it comes to what effective teachers do.

8. Join an online #summerPD community. Check out #cyberPD to join a book discussion and #teacherswrite for an incredible virtual writing camp (plus it’s free!)

9. Follow one great teaching blog. I learn so much from Pernille Ripp, Katherine Sokolowski, Two Writing Teachers, and Three Teachers Talk. Check out the nominees and winners of The Edublog Awards for more ideas.

10. Start your own blog and commit to posting once or twice a week. Participating in popular weekly memes like It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? helps me organize my blogging schedule and consistently post. GirlXOXO has an amazing Master List of Book Blogging Memes or check out Weekly Blog Memes.

And a bonus: If these ideas aren’t enough, Shawna Coppola has a great post on Free, Easy, & Fun Summer PD.

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8 thoughts on “10 Ideas for Getting Started with #SummerPD

  1. Elisabeth, this is a fantastic list of suggestions for all educators. I’ve already planned to participate in a number of these different groups and opportunities, but you’ve listed some here that were either new ideas to me or ones I knew but had kind of forgotten about. I’m going to check out a few of your suggestions, and also share your post with some of my colleagues and teacher friends. Thanks! 🙂

  2. It seems that there are a wealth of podcast options for those interested in teaching K-12, and I would add to your list The Amazing Teacher podcast where Sam Rangel interviews great teachers from all over the country (http://theamazingteacher.com). In higher ed, there are a lot fewer choices. This led me to start my own podcast with a friend, the Teach Better Podcast (http://teachbetter.co/podcast.html). We have conversations about teaching with faculty doing interesting things in the classroom. I believe so much about teaching is universal and K-12 folks and higher ed folks should talk a lot more to each other. And one more: the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast has short conversations about teaching and personal productivity (http://teachinginhighered.com/episodes/).

    • Thanks for these suggestions! I listen to a lot of podcasts, but not education podcasts so this is not an area of expertise for me. I do love the Hybrid Pedagogy podcast for higher ed–do you know that one? I agree that K-12 and higher ed folks need to talk more. I learn more about teaching from elementary teachers than from any other grade level. I’ll check out your podcast!

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