Tuesday, 29 May 2012 07:36
“So, what are you doing this summer?” is a common question, but when it is asked to educators, the question sometimes presupposes the incorrect assumption that schools and teachers take the summer off for the most part.
Summer is a very strategic time for educators. Of course, it does offer time for much-needed and much-deserved rest and renewal, but it is a vital time to reflect, learn and grow professionally. It offers extended time for a teacher to consider new ideas and approaches, refine or restructure existing skills, and develop new ones.
All PDS employees (not just teachers and academic administrators) will be undertaking a significant amount for reading, viewing, writing and doing this summer (a total of about 30 books, articles, videos, skills and writing assignments).
Our work this summer centers on spiritual growth; creativity and innovation; adaptive and virtual learning; project-based learning; global learning; and resilience. In each of these areas, in addition to reading or viewing, our employees write on an internal website to share their ideas with one another.
Additionally, our full faculty will be attending the summer conference of the Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence. Some teachers will also be attending Project Zero at Harvard, while others will be participants in John Hunter’s Master Class. A number are joining colleagues from around the country in taking an on-line class about blended learning. Five will be teaching in Buenos Aires at our sister school, St. Andrews’ Scots School. We have teachers and administrators attending national and international conferences, participating on an action research team, and leading student service trips to Costa Rica and Honduras.
They will, as well, meet as grade level teams to review the past year and plan for the next one. They will tutor students and participate in many of our 40 different summer camps/programs.
With everything that we want to make sure that PDS boys learn, we as a faculty and staff can’t afford to take the summer off. If you would like a stimulating list of things to read, watch or do this summer, please see the PDS list below.
I. Spiritual Growth:
Read, from The Bible, the book of Mark
Read the book, King’s Cross: The Sory of the World in the Life of Jesus by Tim Keller
Kisses fom Katie by Katie Davis
II. Creativity and Innovation:
Read the book, Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World, by Tony Wagner
III. Adaptive Learning:
What will a typical school day in the year 2020 (or beyond) look like? How and where will kids learn? What will be the role of the teacher, the parent, the education community? Read about education in 2020 and beyond in this article.
Meet the Learners of 2025 mentioned in this article. Read their profiles and then click on the buttons under each student picture to hear the learners in their own words.
A Learner-centered Education System - Why Now? Read the article, "Innovation in Education: Redesigning the Delivery System of Education in America."
Rosetta Stone is a language learning software. Go to the website and click on "Try Rosetta Stone: Take the Free Demo" to see what it's like.
IV. Virtual Learning:
Read the article, "Blending Computers in the Classroom."
Read the article "Blended Learning: The Convergence of Online and Face-to-Face Education."
Read the article, "Advantages of Hybrid Learning."
Many of us have seen the K12 online website. This is a company that supplies lessons to many online schools. They are providers of the State of Tennessee's online school. Tour the website. Make sure to click on Take a Peek and then Sample Lessons to view the many lessons available. Go through a few of the sample lessons.
V. Project-Based Learning:
Read the article, "Project-Based Learning: a Short History."
Read the article, "Project-Based Learning: What Experts Say."
Read the article, "Project-Based Learning Professional Development Guide."
Explore this website and choose 4 videos on this website to watch
VI. Global Learning:
Read designated parts of Flattening the Classroom, Engaging Minds by Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis
Review the following website. Oxfam is a fabulous resource with lesson plans and lots of teacher support--very broad perspective as well as age specific activities.
Watch the TedTalk, "The Danger of a Single Story"
Read the article, "What if the Secret to Success is Failure?"
Read the article, "Got Grit?"
Watch, "True Grit: Can Perseverance Be Taught?"
VII. Skill Development:
Diigo: (on-line social bookmarking): Find 5 sites (or use ones you already have bookmarked) and add them to your Diigo account and share them with the PDS community Diigo account.
Screencast: Create another screencast. If you are a teacher, please consider making a screencast that you can use to post to your snow plan site. This should be a different screencast from last year.
Skype: Have two Skype conversations with someone.
Twitter: Follow 20 new people on twitter. Tweet at least 10 times
VIII. Health and Fitness:
Try one new activity or practice that promotes your health and fitness.