Posted in Education, Teaching

Is Summer Really Over?

Yesterday morning, prior to the start of faculty meetings, I finally stored away my summer Crocs.  No more strolls on the beach.  No more walks through long grass.  No more feeling the breeze between my toes as I walk.  Putting away my summer Crocs and pulling out my lined fall Crocs marks the unofficial end of summer.  My feet get confused if I wear my summer shoes while school is in session.  

With new students arriving on campus Friday, it’s time to get serious.  No more relaxing and sleeping in.  No more sitting outside and reading all morning.  It’s school time.  Time to wake up early.  Time to work.  Time to mold young minds and inspire students.  It’s time to start a new school year and with that, there is no time for a vacation state of mind.  Or is there?

The ideals and philosophy of summer are calming, relaxing, exciting, and motivating.  Why can’t we instill these ideas into the rest of the year and our classrooms?  Why can’t we spend time outside reading?  Engagement is the key to success when it comes to reading and writing.  So, why not allow students to read where they feel most inspired and comfortable?  Why do we have to wake up so early every morning? Research shows that students need to sleep in later and go to bed later.  So, why not adjust our school’s schedule to allow for a later start to the academic day?  Don’t we want our students to be healthy and awake?  Why do we have to rush through our curriculum and schedule?  Why can’t we incorporate mindfulness and meditation?  Rather than more breadth, let’s add more depth.  Nothing good comes from shoveling information into the minds of students.  Facts and figures don’t stick.  They need to be interested and curious in order to learn.  So, let’s give our students opportunities to ponder topics and ideas before taking a test or writing an essay.  Let’s discuss and analyze concepts with our students before moving on.  Let’s bring the summer way into the classroom.

Why close the door on summer this Septemer?  Let’s keep our summer shoes on and get students thinking, talking, learning, and growing in a relaxing and engaging manner.  So, perhaps summer never really has to end.  Bring on the infinite summer.

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Author:

I teach sixth grade at Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, NH. I'm currently ensconced in my fourteenth year at this small, independent boys' school. I love engaging students in relevant and hands-on learning. I was nominated for the NH Teacher of the Year Award in 2016 by a parent. While I love education and guiding students, my first passion is my family. I have a wonderful son, Jeffrey, and a beautiful and intelligent wife, Kim. I couldn't be happier. Every day is the best day of my life.

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