Today was the beginning of summer vacation for my students. I imagine they will spend the next two months sleeping in late, watching lots of TV and vacationing in various parts to the country and the world. It also marks the beginning of what I like to call Offseason Training Activities or OTAs for short. Similar to the NFL off season which consists of Organized Team Activities. There is a common misconception outside of the world of education, that summer represents vacation time for teachers. Time will be spent this summer on vacation but most of the time will be spent in OTAs. So what does my summer offseason training activities look like.
The first plan indulge in summer reading. I have been trying to read The Achievement Habit by Bernard Roth for a while. Mr Roth uses practical insights and elements of Design Thinking to help the reader redesign their life. My plan is to take that book and use it as a basis for recreating elements of my life. Next on the list is Work Rules, I bought this book almost a year ago and it still sits on my shelf (so sad). Work Rules uses insights from Google to help you lead others and lead your personal life. Change by Design another book that shares the elements of Design Thinking by Tim Brown. So those are my starter books but I will read parts and pieces of other books and articles to help impact my thinking. I will top it off by reading a ninth grade summer reading challenge book, Sleeping Freshman Never Lie. The teacher must be prepared to lead a group conversation.
The second OTA involves attending and facilitation of a few conferences and workshop. I am excited to attend Traverse in Boulder, Co. Since i have never been to Boulder, Colorado for that matter it will be a chance to explore. Traverse will allow me to gain others insights on the future of education and share some of my experiences as an educator. The following week, I will be one of the Base Commanders at our annual Fuse Conference. Fuse16 is designed to teach educators the Design Thinking process and share the possibilities of how school can be done differently. Finally it will directly impact four Atlanta non-profits who we will design around issues they face. I have other meetings and opportunities for face to face learning.
My summer will also consist of co-creating a Humanities 9 course. MVPS has made a bold leap to create a Humanities Course that will capture the human experience. It will encompass World History and English, while capturing the Arts, Music and all the other elements of this thing called life. I will be partnered with an additional classroom teacher and a PLC for planning. My fear, how do you teach with a partner everyday. My joy, I love the direction this could take the school and my. Showing the overlap in various subjects, making connections to authentic or real world experiences and the chance to get constant feedback on my teaching. So out of nothing we are creating something, or it could be we have all the ingredients we just need to put it together.
So my summer will be quite busy prepping for the new year. Reflecting on the current year and yes there will be some vacation time (1 week).
What are you doing for your Offseason Training Activities?