- Work with people outside of your comfort zone – they may be a different population of students, adults instead of students, non-educators instead of professional peers.
- Bone up on your content – learn about current applications of the content you teach, audit a college class in the subject you teach so that you experience today’s college expectations.
- Learn something new – Take a class in a subject matter that’s not your strength and remember what it’s like to struggle, watch how the teacher meets or doesn’t meet your need.
- Work with a colleague on interdisciplinary connections – so that you can help your students connect the dots, and take advantage of the great instruction that’s happening just down the hall.
- Shadow an administrator, teacher or counselor over the summer – For a day or part of a day during the summer, spend a day with an administrator, counselor or a teacher (during summer school or professional development). Doing so will help you gain a broader perspective of other aspects of the school program and build connections with colleagues in other parts of the building.
- Ask your students for a suggested reading list – Find out what students are reading and talking about. It may be a blog, a favorite website, magazines or books. Don’t limit the genre, use this time to get to know what kinds of things your students are thinking and make connections between their reading and your content.
Those are just a few ideas to get you started. We’re sure you have more. If so, We’d love to hear about them and about your experiences with these. Leave your ideas in the comments section below.