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It's July - take a deep breath

As every modern educator knows, school districts never really shut down. The belief that the three best reasons for going into education are June, July and August is antiquated.

Summer school, youth activities, professional development, curriculum planning, maintenance projects, and technology updates all keep the lights on and people in every one of our school buildings throughout the summer. Most years I was an English teacher or librarian, I simply had a different job in the summer, needing the money to supplement a teacher's salary.

But if any month could be considered somewhat quiet, it would be July. Yes, we still have all the things going on mentioned in the previous paragraph, but we have fewer of them. Many staff members select July to use up vacation days. Fewer people in buildings mean that there is less chance for freshly waxed floors to tracked on. Computers can be updated. Servers can come down for upgrades. Classrooms can be moved. 

And longer, deeper conversations can be had among staff members remaining. Deliberative, thoughtful planning can be done. We can clean our offices and our computer files. Perhaps read some of those professional materials that have been piling up on the desk all year.

Too often our jobs simply leave us little or no time for deep reflection. Time to consider not just how do we get there, but are we heading in the right direction? How might the decisions we are making today impact our programs 3, 5 or 10 years down the road? Are we be coming more or less equitable in our services and resources and policies toward students? What things, especially in technology, should I really be learning more about and considering implementing - and what is ephemeral and fluff?

So my friends, I wish you, if not a relaxing, at least a slower paced July. Give it some thought.

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