By now, most of us have seen the tweet implying what ‘good teachers’ do during the summer. If you haven’t, here is the link to the tweet by @SteeleThoughts. It rightfully garnered pushback from members of various #EduCommunities.
Some teachers either gave that tweet the side-eye, ‘Liked’ it, or Retweeted it. I responded that I hadn’t yet shut-off my brain; it both was and is true. I did not offer that reply to earn a ‘good teacher’ sticker, however. There is a possibility that I may be teaching a K-4 Self-contained class when school resumes. This is the main reason that students are on my mind. Teaching Special Education is challenging, but teaching kids in multiple grades, with unique academic levels and needs, and different disabilities is a daunting task. Even for a veteran teacher. HOWEVER, that does not mean I will forego self-care to plan for next year. NOPE!
Over the past 10 years or so, we have watched people in the #edureform circles attempt to divide teachers into one of two categories: Good or Bad. A lot of us refuse(d) to fall for the okey-doke. Generally speaking, we know that most teachers are doing the best they can, with what they have, e.g., large class sizes, outdated resources (or none at all), delapidated learning environments, etc. We already know that these conditions have an adverse effect on students, so we were not surprised by any of the recent teacher walk-outs in West Virginia, Arizona, or Colorado.
After watching brave teachers risk their livelihoods during walk-outs, who would choose not to spend their vacation resting and reflecting? Perhaps those in leadership positions should spend their summer rethinking what constitutes a ‘good teacher’? I am not sure of @SteeleThoughts true intent behind that tweet, (his attempts to explain did not go over well) but I do know this much is true:
Whether you spend your summer resting, enjoying friends and family, or reflecting on the previous year, you are still a ‘good teacher’. I will go even further and say: Any (legal) activities in which you participate this summer, will benefit you as an individual, and by extension, you as a teacher. Furthermore, practicing self-care will ensure that you are rested, healed, and ready to greet your students in the Fall.
Party on, teachers!