One of my most favorite things about summer is that time to finally change something. While I change a lot throughout the year, summer is like my new year. The time where I have the energy to really think through practices, to get re-energized, to change something, big or small. Because that’s the thing with change, it doesn’t have to be monumental to matter. It can be just taking one step in a new direction, implementing one new idea, thinking one new thought. And while I tend to binge change, I thought it only appropriate to share some ideas that may help you change.
How about reaching out for global collaboration?
There are so many ways to get connected and to have your students get connected these days, even with the strictest of district policies and the smallest amount of tech, there are so many ways. The Global Read Aloud, a project I created in 2010, sets out to make it easy for you. You read aloud the same book as teachers around the world at the same time and then make a connection with others reading it. More than 150,000 students are signed up for this year so far. Others ideas for connection is through blogging, Twitter, Skype, Projects by Jen, The Traveling Rhino, or making your own project.
How about reading a great book?
There is nothing quite like sitting down with a really well-written education book to inspire your own journey. “The Book Whisperer” by Donalyn Miller did that for me a few years back, as well as “Awakened” by Angela Watson (a book study is about to begin on this great book!). This year I am excited to finally take the time to read her second book “Reading in the Wild” and cannot wait to get inspired again. Also, on my to read list is “This is Not a Test” by Jose Vilson, “Falling in Love with Close Reading” by Chris Lehman and Kate Roberts, and “Encouragement in the Classroom: How Do I Help Students Stay Positive and Focused” by Joan Young. Finally, you can even read my book if you would like, it has been getting great reviews, “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students.”
How about a challenge?
It is not too late to get involved with some of the many challenges floating around the internet this summer. One of my favorites, and not just because the educator who is behind it all, Todd Nesloney, is a pretty awesome guy, but because it is so broad, is the Summer Learning Series. While the challenge is on it’s 4th week this week, it is not too late to get caught up. I have been doing some of the challenges mentioned and have been loving how I am getting connected.
How about learning a new tool?
This has been the summer of Voxer for me. This great little walkie talkie app has brought me even closer to some of the people I connect with and introduced me to so many new people. There is definitely something special about hearing people’s voices along with their ideas. Connect with me if you want, my user name is pripp5439. But that doesn’t have to be the tool you use, pick one, and make it your own.
How about learning a new skill that has nothing to do with education but then still does?
I will be starting Yoga in two week and I cannot tell you how excited I am to finally realize this dream. I just haven’t found the time before, but now I am making the time. So what have you been stalling on that you know will help you have a better life? Now is the time to start.
How about teaching someone something?
On July 24th, I get to lead a session on global collaboration through blogging here in Wisconsin, a subject near and dear to me, but it doesn’t have to be professional teaching to count. I am also teaching my 21 month old twins, Ida and Oskar, to go to the potty and Thea, my 5 year old, to ride a bike with no training wheels. There is always an opportunity to help others.
How about becoming a passionate reader?
There is nothing better than a great book you cannot wait to share with others. Some recent favorites of mine include:
- The entire Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
- The Desperate Adventures of Zeno and Alya by Jane Kelley
- Noggin by John Corey Whalen
- Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes
- The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
How about meeting someone new?
Whether you are at one of the many conferences this summer, moving to a new school like, or moving to a new city (also like me), what are you doing to meet new people? I have been blessed with the opportunity to create a great new team and I cannot wait to get to know them.
How about whatever you feel like? What is it you really want to take time to do? Every step we take matters, why not take it in the direction of change?
I am a passionate teacher in Wisconsin, USA, who has taught 4, 5th, and 7th grade. Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day. First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students” can be purchased now from Powerful Learning Press. Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” can be pre-ordered from Corwin Press now. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.