What does a summer break looks like for a teacher ?: Nurturing, Learning, and Preparing for Tomorrow

 In African International Schools, Community Service, Education in Africa, Professional Development

As the final school bell rings, signalling the end of another academic year, the halls that once echoed with the laughter and footsteps of students grow quiet during the summer break. The classrooms, adorned with displays of learning, are momentarily deserted. While this scene may conjure images of teachers relaxing by the poolside or enjoying leisurely days, the truth is that the summer break is far from a period of idleness for these dedicated educators. Beyond the facade of relaxation lies a world of purposeful pursuits, self-improvement, and meticulous planning that define the teacher’s summer journey.

1. Embracing the Pursuit of Knowledge

Summer offers teachers the invaluable gift of time, and many seize this opportunity to embark on a journey of self-improvement. From attending workshops, seminars, and conferences to enrolling in online courses and reading educational literature, educators invest their break in professional development. This pursuit equips them with the latest teaching methodologies, emerging trends, and innovative tools that can transform their classrooms into dynamic centres of learning. By actively seeking growth, teachers embody the spirit of lifelong learning, setting an inspiring example for their students.  To accompany our teachers professional growth, Enko education organises a special intensive training programme called JUMP. During this intensive training teachers are encouraged to work together during two weeks on progressive teaching at Enko Education.


2. Reflecting and Reimagining Teaching Strategies

In the hustle and bustle of daily school life, teachers often find it challenging to step back and evaluate their teaching strategies. The summer break serves as a sanctuary for self-reflection. Educators analyse their past successes and challenges, allowing them to adapt and reimagine their teaching methods. This introspection is instrumental in evolving their pedagogical approach, resulting in classrooms that are more responsive to individual learning styles and equipped with effective instructional techniques. Binta Fall, a French teacher and  principal at Enko Waca shares with us that summer  is a prime time for her to improve her teaching. Using tools such as My IB as well as Facebook groups and forums dedicated to teachers using the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme are particularly useful to improve her teaching strategies.

3. Cultivating Creativity in Curriculum

Behind every successful school year lies a well-crafted curriculum. The summer break provides educators with the ideal canvas to paint their vision for the upcoming academic year. Teachers dedicate their time to crafting engaging lesson plans, refining teaching materials, and curating resources that cater to the diverse needs of their students. This meticulous planning ensures that each lesson is not just informative but also captivating, fostering a love for learning that extends far beyond the classroom walls. According to Binta Fall : “ Summer allows me to anticipate the next term, by planning the reading materials or the growth I want to see in my students.”

4. Collaborative Endeavours

Collaboration is the cornerstone of effective teaching. During the summer break, educators foster connections with colleagues within their school community and beyond. Collaborative brainstorming, curriculum development sessions, and cross-disciplinary workshops create a vibrant ecosystem of shared knowledge. This collective effort not only enhances the teaching experience but also resonates positively in students’ holistic growth.

5. Expanding Their Arsenal of Skills

Summer offers teachers the freedom to explore new skills and talents that can enrich their classroom dynamic. From mastering new technologies and art forms to honing communication and leadership skills, educators enhance their repertoire. These additional skills empower them to better connect with students, inspiring a genuine passion for learning and creativity. To prepare for her new role, Mrs Fall took the opportunity during summer to take courses in leadership and management of educational teams.

6. Serving the Community

The heart of a teacher is inherently tied to the community they serve. Many educators spend their summer break contributing to the welfare of their neighbourhoods. Whether through volunteering, organising community workshops, or participating in outreach programs, teachers exemplify the values of empathy, compassion, and social responsibility. These endeavours impart crucial life lessons beyond textbooks and classroom walls.

7. Engaging in Further Education

The pursuit of higher education doesn’t pause for teachers during the summer break. Many educators opt to further their academic journey by enrolling in advanced courses, working towards advanced degrees, or obtaining additional certifications. This commitment to personal growth mirrors the very ethos they instil in their students—of embracing challenges and pushing boundaries.

8. Recharging their energy

While teachers engage in a multitude of productive endeavours, they also recognize the importance of recharging their own spirits. Summer break provides the space to rejuvenate by spending quality time with loved ones, embarking on personal adventures, or simply indulging in leisure activities. This self-care ensures that teachers return to their classrooms with renewed enthusiasm, ready to ignite the spark of curiosity in their students once more.

In conclusion, the summer break of teachers in international schools is a multifaceted journey characterised by purposeful endeavours, personal growth, and preparation for the academic year ahead. Beyond the misconceived notion of prolonged leisure lies a commitment to lifelong learning, a dedication to crafting exceptional learning experiences, and a profound desire to shape the minds of tomorrow. As we bask in our own summer delights, let’s take a moment to honour the dedicated educators who embrace their break as an opportunity to nurture, learn, and prepare for the brighter tomorrows they are tirelessly building for their students.

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