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The Summer Slide—for Teachers?


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Educators want to prevent the “summer slide” in academic skills that can happen when students take a break from school and shift their focus to hanging out with friends, taking trips to the pool, and enjoying other fun activities. But what happens to educators when they take some time off from the classroom? Do they encounter a similar slide?

Many teachers may laugh at the notion that summer sets them back. While it’s true that teachers aren’t in the classroom each day, summer is typically a time when they still work: earning professional development credits, learning the new curriculum being implemented in September, taking on tutoring jobs, and planning for a successful school year. The two months educators have off does not feel like much of a break. Instead, summer seems like a short amount of time to accomplish everything they are too busy to tackle during the school year.

Share My Lesson, well known for being a resource for finding free preK–12 lesson plans and activities in all subject areas, will help educators get the most out of their time away from the classroom by launching “Summer of Learning.”

This summer, Share My Lesson will offer a variety of ways that educators can stay connected—even on those trips to the beach. Summer of Learning will provide educators several new areas of content to explore and help them build a new library of lessons and ideas, including collections focused on professional development and parental involvement. Advice from Share My Lesson partners, bloggers, and teachers will offer perspectives on topics like homework and teaching students with disabilities.

We’ll also provide resources on digital trends in education and how to network with educators online, among other ideas for both inside and outside the classroom. And, of course, the summer would not be complete without a contest and giveaways—found weekly on, Twitter, and Facebook.

Because professional development lies at the heart of summer learning for educators, Share My Lesson will offer four days of free online professional development from top education leaders during June and July. There will be sessions for everyone, including new teachers. And the best part? You receive one professional development credit for each session you attend.

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Here is the lineup: On June 11, learn about how to keep students engaged during summer break. On June 25, tune in for a day of professional development just for those who teach the humanities. On July 9, professional development will be specifically targeted to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) educators. And on July 22, the series wraps up with presentations on the foundations of teaching, perfect for those new to the profession.

Want to connect with your peers in person this summer? Then attend some events Share My Lesson will be offering at the International Society for Technology in Education conference in Philadelphia, as well as at EdSurge and the AFT TEACH conference, both in Washington, D.C.

No matter what adventures you have planned, avoid the summer slide. Sign up for Share My Lesson and stay up to date with Summer of Learning!

–The Share My Lesson Team

[illustrations by Daniel Baxter]

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American Educator, Summer 2015