Mapping My Summer Learning in 90 Days: An Experiment in Metacognition & PD


You know the old saying…teachers teach for 3 reasons:  June, July & August.  This statement has always infuriated me.  As most teachers, I believe I work with an incredible intensity in the summer months.  The time off from school allows me to regroup my thoughts, reflect on lessons taught, learn new things, read … a lot, attend conferences, and learn for the joy of learning.  These months provide the fuel I will need for the next year and inspire me to challenge myself and my students.

Recently, my position has changed to a more administrative role in curriculum.  Luckily, I will still be teaching, but I am now responsible for professional development, curricular initiatives, individualized teacher support, and a new mapping initiative.  Our first attempt at mapping a few years ago did not go as well as planned and it was abandoned.  Three years later, I have been thinking about how to make the process of mapping manageable and purposeful to the faculty.  I think I’ve got my answer…but that would require a lengthy blog post, so let’s just leave it at…I’ve been thinking about mapping and learning a lot.

June 1st arrived and I was thinking of the significance of that date.  I wanted to find a way to document my learning experiences over the summer so that I could use it to share my summer professional development.  I decided that I would map my learning for 90 days.  I would choose one thing that really stood out to me each day and explore what I learned, my learning path, and further learning. I will consider my Google Reader and Twitter accounts as my true maps of daily learning, but I want to document those things that push me to think differently, encourage me to research, facilitate discussion, and truly give a glimpse into my professional learning experience.

You can follow along with me this summer as I map my learning for the next 90 days here.  I’d also encourage you to do something similar….think about what you’ve learned every day and do something with it…embed it, share it, talk about it.  Reflect on your learning…it’s what we ask our students to do every day.  Be a student this summer for yourself, your colleagues, and your future students…create the kind of professional development you always talk about, but never seem to have time for.

4 thoughts on “Mapping My Summer Learning in 90 Days: An Experiment in Metacognition & PD

  1. dougpete

    That sounds like a busy and aggressive learning exercise. Good luck with it and your learning will be interesting to follow. Just remember to take the time to recharge your batteries as well. After this winter, we’ve GOT to have a great summer.

    1. mrspal1 Post author

      We do have to have a great summer! After just finishing my M.Ed. a few weeks ago and principal’s certification, I have been so focused on grad school learning for the past two years. I want to really follow my own learning path this summer. I’ve been people telling me what to learn, so I want to take some of that control back and really enjoy and share my process of learning this summer…ambitious…I know…but that is about the only mode I function in! Thanks for stopping by, Doug.

  2. b00ksm4rt

    Stumbled upon your blog about a year ago and then lost it; darn my swiss-cheese memory! So glad to have found it again in time to follow your 90 Days of Learning. You mentioned you were interested in investigating/planning a Book Trailer project…this is something I’ve done with my 6th graders, and it is probably the most meaningful project I’ve ever done. Needless to say, I have loads of material that I would be honored to share with you if you are interested. Thank you for being an inspiration to your students, fellow teachers, and me!

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