Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Tech adventurous teachers on holiday

Summer is here, and most people dream of escaping the hot cities, taking a trip far from their everyday routine, or just lying on the beach, having a swim and getting a proper tan.
But you know, teachers are not "most people". Especially the ICT-addict teachers.

So, what do teachers on holiday do?

Well, some things are quite common, but you could be surprised by some of teachers-on-holiday's favourite pastimes...

1) They (try to) spend quality time with their family/friends/pets and loved ones. It may sound obvious, but it isn't: don't forget 99% of teachers, especially those with kids, feel constantly guilty for neglecting their family and social life. We've just gone through nine months of 'friendly' remarks like "you know, you seem to be spending far more time taking care of someone else's children than yours" or "are you really going to spend the whole Sunday glued to that pc? again?" (that's for eTwinners) or "I'm sure there should be something better to do than correcting essays at 10 pm" or again "how could you spend the whole afternoon at that teachers' meeting? I always wonder at how much teachers love chatting..." (if you're a teacher, you know what I'm talking about). Well, that can be pretty damaging for your self esteem as a mother/father/husband/wife/best friend/partner etc. So we try to make up now.

2) They sleep! (but dream of school) Of course: we've to make up with all of the sleepless nights correcting essays, chatting online with project partners in different countries, obsessing about one of our students' behaviour or results, or what a colleague told us/told the others about us, etc. Strange as it may seem, we all know how easy it is to lose a night's sleep on what can seem to the others a quite silly issue. The fact is, we've to do with real young people, their minds and their feelings, and that's a responsibility that can definitely keep you wide awake at night.

3) They hang out with fellow teachers and make up new projects. Believe me, we're more creative in summer time. And you feel there's nothing you can't do when you're sitting in the open air with a colleague who's also a friend, speaking your mind and devising challenging projects for your classes. Hint: add some chocolate to the process and you'll improve it dramatically. Planning over a chocolate icecream will add a special touch to your creativity.

4) They read all of the books they bought/borrowed but couldn't read during the school year (lack of time of course). Plus, they clean their bookcase, their school bag, their pc desktop, their room and their whole house. A new start requires order and space (obviously, we never throw anything away, as even the silliest document could be useful sooner or later, so we just change the papers/books/files position. Which means we will never ever find them again). 

5) They try out all of the ICT tools they couldn't try during the school year. Which takes them back to the "glued at that pc again" remark. But who cares. It's fun. And you can't even imagine how much this tool I've just found will improve my everyday lesson... and what I could do with my students... if only I could convince my Headmistress to buy another pc... or I should ask the families... and... well, you know, sweet dreams for the coming year.

6) They have fun! on- and off-line.

So, let us relax and have fun.

And if you're looking for inspiration, here are my tips:

- for our Team Teaching reflection, I suggest you have a look at this brilliant article  25 Ways Teachers Can Connect More With Their Colleagues (thank you Tim!)

- and by the way, at http://www.bestcollegesonline.com/blog/ you'll find lots of tips and hints for the ICT curious teacher. I loved the Top 100 Tools for the Twittering Teacher but believe me, this blog can be a real gold mine for your afternoons, when it's too hot to go out (just add airconditioning, a cup of coffee and a tech adventurous teacher!)

- summer time is the best moment to explore and enjoy the world of Edutopia. In the years, I developed a passion for this website! You can get lost among articles, free downloads, guides, videos... but it's like getting lost in Wonderland! For now, have a look at the latest blog post on assessment , it definitely makes you think...

- if you've not done it already, what about joining in Classroom 2.0 and Teacher 2.0? There are lots of ideas - and lots of teachers from all around the world - waiting for you (they'll make a great addition to your "glued at that pc" nights!)

- and even if you're an experienced eTwinner, what about having a look at the eTwinning portal? You could find inspiration having a look at the kits, or at the projects of other teachers, or at the featured articles. Or you will just keep in touch with your eTwinning friends, planning new projects or thinking back to the old ones and all the fun you had together. Don't forget, inspiration comes from meeting and sharing. And eTwinning is the right place for both.

I wish everybody the best summer holidays ever.
 Enjoy the sun, explore the net... and be proud of your being a teacher, on holiday as well!


  1. Great work!
    meraviglioso lavoro, brava come sempre...

  2. Dear Laura,
    thank you for your post. I like it very much. )
    It's true, being a teacher is not simple a "job". It's much more: a passion. It's something, what we can't finish when we close the door of school after a day with a lot of lesson.
    Next to the school bag we arrive at home with all experience with our pupils, memories of situations in classroom(I often find myself to relive the dialogues with my pupils), sometimes with doubts and questions: it was the right way what I did? And..tomorrow:how could I do it better?
    And after great moments and activities with children I feel: it's great to be a teacher.
    Yes, there are difficult moments as well, for many reason (colleagues, pupils,it happends, I am the reason :) difficult situations -last year many times because of economical crisis- ), and we don't sleep at night.
    But after happends something: a fantastic sentence from a child, a smile, taking part in a great project with friends from other country, interesting activities, sharing our ideas and learning together..great:)
    And..yes) during the summer holidays..I agree with you (now I am in phase to organize my papers and room:)
    Thank you for sharing useful links as well, I will visit them.

    And, thank you for your great passion). I am happy to know you, and sharing great European adventures together in twin).

  3. Lovely and so true! Now I'm going to have a tour in Edutopia... Thank you Laura!

  4. Dear Laura,
    I can say I'm experiencing most of the vacation versions you've listed above, apart for a few exceptions, i.e. I sleep but I don't dream of school (lucky girl!), I don't hang out with fellow teachers since we are all miles away; I'm just making a list of the tools I'd like to try out, but I've explored all the useful links you've given us.
    I like being free from school duties since I employ time in a very relaxed way.
    I hope you're chilling out too.

  5. Thank you everybody!
    Mariella, the only way I can chill out for a while is spending a couple of weeks with no internet access :) That's what I did this summer and I was happy to see that 1) I can survive and 2) I can actually relax!
    (my husband was very happy too...)
    Hugs to all of you