Too much on your desk?

More Summer Than Break

As I write this I’m aboard a plane heading to a conference where I’ll be both a presenter and an attendee. Yes, it is July, that time of the year where many folks think educators are in the midst of their glorious summer break. I think it’s time to dispel the myth of the “ten-week break” and have the new narrative reflect the reality for most educators – it’s more summer than break.

While I have no doubt that there will be time for rest, relaxation, and re-charging (all needed for educators who gave it everything during the school year and who are planning to do the same in the upcoming year), a look at my calendar indicates a lot of ongoing work for the professionals responsible for ensuring high levels of success for ALL students. It seems like there is always a new curriculum to learn, new assessments, new instructional strategies, and planning. Many colleagues I’ve spoken to indicated they tutor during the summer, participate in summer programs, and read newly released books in our field. I continue to be amazed at how many book study groups meet during this time as I field questions about some of my releases or get asked for recommendations.

As I look at July planning, it pales in comparison to August. Many will be returning to school long before that month concludes. Of the twenty-one working days in that month, I have sixteen of them booked to work with colleagues. From the major Assessment Now conference that Solution Tree will be hosting in Grand Rapids to start-up work with districts, and strategic planning with individual schools, educators continue to refine their craft and add more to their tool box in advance of welcoming back their students. I know my in-box allows me to connect with educators from past events as well as future clients looking to add their next first step. I have to admit that I’m equally excited and looking forward to meeting more of these passionate educators during these summer months. In fact, I’ll be so bold as to say that even in the quietest moments of relaxation, it doesn’t take much for the mind of the professional educator to wander to thoughts about students past and present. Being an educator is not a profession, it’s a passion!

Tom Hierck

Tom Hierck has been an educator since 1983 in a career that has spanned all grade levels. He has been a teacher, an administrator, a district leader, a department of education project leader, and an executive director.

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