“Summertime — and the living is easy….” Oh, the life of a teacher/instructional technologist when school is not in session! Or is it? As we move into the last month of the traditional summer break, I can reflect on whether my summer has been easy. So far, I have prepared and taught two week-long workshops, attended and presented at a technology conference, helped pack and move two children from one state to another, and begun to prepare for the fall. When does the fall begin? August 20, when our school launches a large professional development program called Choate iPadU. On that day, we begin two weeks of workshops designed to prepare faculty for the iPad program that begins when our students return to school. So, I am working diligently on the curriculum, and trying to incorporate it into iTunesU, a platform with which I was relatively unfamiliar until a week ago. In addition I am reviewing and enhancing a new World History curriculum developed by a few of my colleagues, preparing for an evaluation of Learning Management Systems, developing an ongoing professional development and support plan for the iPad program, retooling the courses I will teach this fall, and getting a head start on college recommendations for my students, Other than teaching classes, grading student work, and attending meetings, a good number of days are not that different than a typical day during the school year. 

That’s really the point regarding most teachers I know (public and private schools). Summers are not quite the two month vacation the general public and the traditional media might imagine. The craft of teaching (it is a craft, not a science) is far more challenging than many outsiders think. During the school year, days are long and exhausting. They extend well beyond the class day. In the summer, the days are different, but many are equally busy in different ways. Summer is the time for rejuvenation, retooling, learning new ways to improve teaching and learning, and to enable some downtime. Rest means less stress, and that means better thinking and ideas. So the living may not always be easy in the summertime, but it does provide a pace that is conducive to the kind of work that helps teachers to hone their craft. Some easy living is in order for all fo us, but most of the summertime is preparation for another challenging and fulfilling year.