Summer Learning, Had Me a Blast!

calvin and hobbes - teachers summer


This summer, and any other summer, I did not sleep in a coffin.  Like many educators I have spent part of my summer recharging the batteries and getting some good old fashioned rest and relaxation.  I have truly enjoyed time on the deck with my family/friends and ‘field-trips’.  I had the pleasure of spending time in Vancouver this summer, I can truly understand why Vancouver is listed as one of the top cities in the world to live.

In addition to recharging the batteries, I did like most educators do in the summer – learn.  Although most people do not think like Calvin (cartoon ‘Calvin and Hobbes’) that teachers sleep in coffins, many people believe educators take the summer off.  My experiences are quite different, personally and what I see my colleagues doing.  This summer, this is what I did to learn:

– Stay Connected – Sharing is learning.  In order to share you must stay connected with people.  This summer I did this in a number of ways.  Firstly, face to face.  Our Lady of the Assumption School has a very dedicated staff.  Although I tried to avoid the place this summer I still went in occasionally to check messages.  Every time I went in staff were there working.  The conversations I had with staff were formal and informal, but I always walked away with something.  Secondly, my PLN (Personal/Professional Learning Network).  By connecting with my PLN, especially through twitter, I have received a lot of ideas to bring to school.  More learning.  One way that I stay connected is through twitter why use twitterchats.  I do not do them all the time, but I did try to do one a week.  Through twitter chats I am able to get resources, infographics, and ideas from my PLN.  Some of my favourite twitter chats are #bcedchat #nbtchat #LeadWithGiants #aledchat  #colchat #iaedchat #satchatwc and #caedchat    If you are interested in twitter chats here is a good site to check out

– Reading – I did some summer pleasure reading this year,FU but I did a lot of ‘teaching’ reading.  I decided to take a summer course from Flinders University.  The course is entitled ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder: Teaching and Learning.’  As a teacher and as a principal I simply want to learn more about the Autism Spectrum Disorder and how I can help ASD students learn.  A lot of the readings have been very academic and research based, but I am learning a lot about ASD.  My summer learning will help my teaching and help student learning.

– Online – I do not spend all my time online, but if I do have a spare moment there is always a good TED video to watch.

– Conference – Next Monday I am joining five other teachers from Our Lady of the Assumption School, and many others from Holy Spirit Catholic Schools, and attending a conference featuring John Hattie.  Hattie proposes Visible Learning, seeing learning through the eyes of the students.  It should be very educational.

This summer I am having a blast.  Partly due to the fun activities I have done, but also the learning.

Greg Kostiuk