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Remain an Influence This Summer

Jordan Catapano

Remain an Influence This SummerSo summer’s here, students are gone, and it’s just you. The peace and quiet you’ve wanted are already beginning to refresh you. And then, oddly, you realize that you weren’t meant to sit around; you were meant to teach, to be an influence, to inspire, to share – so what good is sitting around all summer without any students?

Fortunately, there are ways for you top-notch educators out there to remain involved with students throughout the summer and to continue to be a force of positive influence in their lives.

  1. Have a professional social media account. There are lots of opportunities to interact with students online in a positive, appropriate way. Having a social media account that is designated as your “professional” account is a great way to interact with students electronically. Consider getting a Twitter or Facebook account, setting up a Ning, or creating a class page on an educational site like Schoology or Edmodo.
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  3. Of course, check your institution’s social media policies before entirely diving into this. But, it’s fascinating to develop conversations beyond just the four walls of your classroom. And, over the summer, social media provides you with a special opportunity to remain an academic influence on students.
  1. Teach summer school. If you want to influence students, then you must go to where they are. Even though “summer” and “school” may sound oxymoronic, it’s really one of the best places to be. Academic abilities decline during summer for students who don’t use them, but those at summer school are primed and ready to keep their skills sharp. So go back to school and do some sharpening!
  1. Volunteer in the community. And just because you are a teacher doesn’t mean that you have to always be with your students. There are lots of youths out there who can benefit from your knowledge and experience. Just being a good person – whether volunteering at a park district, food bank, or fundraiser – puts you in a position to make a positive impression on youths and adults alike.
  1. Read, talk, grow. And hey, stop thinking about how much you want to impact others and start thinking about how much you want to impact yourself. Summer is the prime time to take some “me time” and focus on making yourself an even better educator than you were before. Find books to read, conferences to attend, and like-minded educators who can fill your head with improved ideas on how to enter the fall.
  1. Connect with new families. Start the fall off right by making a connection with your newest students and parents. When you have a class schedule, send a letter or email introducing yourself and your subject matter.

Just because summer is here doesn’t mean that you stop being a teacher. Continue to encourage your students to learn, continue to be an example to your community, and continue to make yourself into a better educator. This summer’s going to be great!

We want to hear from you! How do you plan to remain an influence this summer? Leave your reply in the comments section, below.