2.Take a deep breath

Along with improving technology tool skills, getting in touch with colleagues to exchange best practices, and traveling to bring back news and pictures for the third grade class, “balance is the toughest ‘must-do’ of the them all! I try to remind myself that a truly great teacher has balance in his/her life and models that for students. You’re out of steam by November and again by March, if you don’t take at least a little time for you in the summer. Summer reading, cooking, exercising, relaxing–it’s the single most important investment a teacher can make, and how the hardest-working teachers stay on top of their game during the school year.” – Jennifer Gates, Norton Park Elementary

“Breathe! Take time to slow way down and enjoy your family and friends, read a book for fun, and visit some place new. Also, update your webpage, reflect on the previous year and make improvements, and eliminate clutter and organize your work space and home.” –  Dianne K. King, MEd, GCDF, Career Development Coordinator, NC Virtual Public School DLA, N.C.

3.Professional development—practice makes perfect

“I attend our state’s annual technology conference in Birmingham, Ala. I learn about current technology tools and applications relevant to educators in Alabama. The conference was held the week of June 15th. Here’s a link to the conference: http://ti.alsde.edu/aetc/.” – Deborah Lindsey, Opelika Middle School, Ala.

“After taking the remainder of the month of June to relax and unwind, I spend July reading up on the latest research-based practices to hone my skills. In August, I incorporate new ideas into my teaching to inspire and keep my skills fresh. Changing how I teach requires that I go over my annual plan to revise procedures and routines and to make sure that the changes I am making are appropriate for the content I teach.” – Harmonee

“I need to practice with my new whiteboard and practice using 2 new 2.0 tools, as well as revamp my website. I also want to develop some Anchor Activities and read The Hunger Games.” – Cathy in Nebraska

“Each summer I try to find a workshop, a course, or some other learning experience so that I can go back to the classroom excited and with new ideas.”- Kathryn Hedges