I drive a manual transmission. If you know me well, this will not surprise you: I like to have control over as much as I can, which includes being in charge of when and how I shift my gears.
As a teacher, I like to start out in first gear just as school gets going, quickly shift into second, and then progress all the way into fourth or fifth gear by the end of first quarter. By second quarter, I shift into fifth (if my students aren't already there) and then into sixth. Once in sixth, I put my classroom on cruise control: speed down that learning highway at 65+ miles for the duration of the year. Of course, sometimes there is construction and I have to downshift mid-year, but as a whole I like to drive my students to their destination at full speed.
But summer: summer for me is for downshifting. Returning to first gear, regrouping, and maybe revving the engine just a little.
This first week of summer, while teachers are "off for the summer," I have had the benefit to work with teachers as they downshift. As they slow down to enjoy the view, revamp their routes, and then rev their engines a bit before we race off again in the fall.
Summer Curriculum Writing
Our secondary teachers gathered this week to predominantly work on creating formative assessments with their PLCs: formatives that align with RPS's newly developedPrioritized Learnings and Proficiency Scales. These new and tweaked assessments will help our teachers enter the school year with a clear map and full fuel-tank.
Pages on the Patio
The first Tuesday after students went home for the summer was the first gathering of Pages on the Patio (sans patio this week because of weather): 26 teachers gathered off-site to simultaneously read, and later discuss, various professional texts that would enhance their instruction. It was 90 minutes of a low gear cruise control, allowing these teachers to really focus on how their car is driving, the sounds of the road, and the direction of the travel.
Summer is the perfect time to downshift. The perfect time to slow down and take in the views, to revamp your map, and to get ready to rev things up again in the fall. So, will you join me on this summer road-trip?
This post brought to you by Heather Lyke, Secondary Implementation Associate
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