Flip flops & fresh starts: Gearing up for the next school year with summer learning

photo of woman on beach with headphones on

School's out for summer, and while we all deserve a hard-earned break, some of us just can't resist the urge to level up for next year. Maybe you're seeking to brush up on some skills, explore new teaching techniques, or simply stay ahead of the game for next year. Don't miss out on these resources to make you an even more awesome teacher come fall.

Learning on the Go

  • Podcasts for the win 
    Turn your workout sessions, errand runs, or even those lazy hammock afternoons into learning opportunities! Education podcasts are plentiful these days, covering everything from classroom management strategies to the latest educational trends. Check out some highly recommended teaching podcasts HERE: https://www.weareteachers.com/must-listen-podcasts/  
  • Blogs by rockstar teachers 
    Consider leveraging the apps you already use for social media to improve your teaching craft. Sometimes the best ideas can come from Instagram, Facebook, or even Tik Tok! You can follow hashtags and accounts that provide relevant ideas and lessons. For example, I follow the hashtags #iteach5th #iteachmath and #engagingclassrooms.

Beach Reads

  • Summer reading books 
    Keep it old school. Consider a specific area of teaching you’d like to improve upon for next year. Research and find a book that sparks your curiosity. This summer, I’m reading Building Thinking Classrooms by Peter Liljedahl. Last summer, my favorite read was 17,000 Classroom Visits Can’t Be Wrong by James R. Garver and John V. Antonetti.

Level Up Your Skills:

  • Summer learning adventures with KnowItAll.org 
    KnowItAll.org, created by South Carolina ETV, provides a wide variety of educational media specifically designed for Pre-K through 12th-grade students and teachers. Explore engaging videos, interactives, and project-based lessons that span a variety of subjects. It's a fantastic way to find fresh inspiration and spark curiosity in your students! 
  • Online courses and webinars 
    Platforms like Coursera and edX offer a mind-boggling variety of courses, from integrating technology in the classroom to mastering the art of differentiated instruction. Plus, many webinars are free and jam-packed with valuable information. Be sure to check out ETV LEARN's summer courses too; these self-paced, 20-Renewal Credit courses are perfect for convenient summer learning. 
  • Professional development powerhouses 
    Organizations like the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) are jam-packed full of resources. Dive into their websites (pun intended) and discover lesson plans, curriculum frameworks, and professional development materials that'll keep your teacher toolbox overflowing with goodies.

Remember, summer learning doesn't have to feel like work. Pick resources that pique your interest and allow yourself the freedom to explore. Who knows, you might just discover a new passion project or teaching strategy that'll make a world of difference in your classroom come fall. 

Kerstin Wheeland is a classroom teacher, subject matter expert for SCETV, and staff developer for AVID. She is passionate about igniting young minds and closing achievement gaps. When not teaching her heart out, you can find her reading on her kayak.