#cyberPD · authentic writing · back to school · Innovators · ralph fletcher · writing workshop

What Do Teachers Do All Summer?

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I have comfortably settled into the third week of summer, and I have proudly devoured six “just for me” books.  Pleasure reading is GREAT but I feel like I am out of balance.  I have a professional reading list and a few professional goals for the summer.

Summer is the opportunity to sit back, hit reset, and plan how I will improve for next year.  I like to use my extra hours of summer considering my past teaching practices and think about what worked and what I wish had gone differently.  I start with student reflections.  How did they see their learning?  How do they talk about their work? What stuck with them and what didn’t?  I look at work samples from this year and compare them to years past and I search for patterns in my teaching.  Finally, but equally important, I think about my classroom environment.  What are the non-negotiables and what changes will need to be made or can be done for next year?

At this pace of pleasure reading, I am worried my opportunity may pass without actualization and every teacher knows once August hits- you’re already behind!

Today I am making a public commitment and sharing with all of you, my flexible summer reset plan.  My hope is you will also share how you hit reset.  Maybe even pass on some ideas, book titles, posts, podcasts, lesson successes, (and yes, your pitfalls.  This is how we all grow)

Be BRAVE; we are truly better together! And, if you’re shy, direct message me @Deb_Frazier, but it would help so many of us if you leave your ideas in the comments right here!

My Flexible Summer Reset Plan




  • Set up my classroom.
  • Move daughter one to grad school 645 miles away.
  • Move daughter two back to college 524 miles away.
  • Send daughter two off for a semester abroad.
  • Blog weekly with my students to keep the Sizzling Summer Slam active.
  • Adjust to an entirely empty nest!

Criteria for Mentor Text Selection: Criteria developed by the English Language Arts Committee in my district.

  • Texts allow students to envision possibilities as writers.
  • Books reach across the curriculum and framework.
  • Nonfiction with fiction or poetry embedded in the text.  
  • Variety genres.
  • Books must stimulate creativity.
  • Stories, poems, themes, and topics layered in a way that encourages critical thinking and makes an impact on our lives.
  • Appealing illustrations to support the story and the reader.
  • Stories, issues, and characters that are relatable to students.
  • Stories, poems, themes, topics that support compassion for others and cultures.
  • Stories, poems, themes, topics that support and build community.
  • Books to boost students’ language development. For example books with powerful words, repetition, alliteration, onomatopoeias, and vocabulary variety.
  • Characters that change and develop through a story or a series.


12 thoughts on “What Do Teachers Do All Summer?

  1. Deb, I love, love, love this! I will get my plan in one place and then share! I am reading lots, writing a bit just back from TC Writing), and plenty more. I love #summerlearning and #summerrejuvenation.


      1. PS I did the Apple Teacher for iPad and Mac, now I remember that I wanted to do the Google Educator program, so I am off to look at that to add to my list!TC was amazing- Advanced Writing with Mary Ehrenworth and Colleen Cruz. I am having reading envy this week and following on Twitter!


  2. ok – just have to ask what were the 6 fun books you read? I just finished The Beekeepers Assistant – a spin off your Sherlock Holmes. A good summer read if you like light mysteries.


    1. Glad you asked!
      Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, The Girls: A Novel by Emma Cline, Into the Water by Paula Hawkins, The Education of Dixie Dupree by Donna Everhart, and All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda.
      Not all quality classics but all worth my time! Most my daughter and I pass back and forth and nothing beats a book talk with your daughter!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow that is some plan!! You are amazing, Deb! I plan to read a lot, think a lot, plan a lot, dream a lot, write a lot, learn a lot. Participating in Penny Kittle’s Book Love Book Club and cyberPD. I want to become Google certified too but not sure how much time it takes… best advice?


      1. Kathleen,
        I love your plan, Dream a lot! Reading professionally with the year behind us does allow for a very ambitious dream! Everything seems possible in the summer! I would love to hear about Penny Kittle’s PD, I will have to look that up for NEXT year! I took a week long Apple class with Apple Instructors, who came to my district! It was worth every minute! I don’t know anything about Google’s training, but I would love to know what you find out… for NEXT year!

        I am proud to say I have already accomplished all but one thing on my June plan! Having 2 adult children who work during the day and finishing school in May is the secret!


  4. School for me ended on Friday, but I’ve already devoured a “just for me” book. I made it a goal to read more leisure books because I tend to get caught up reading too many professional books (never enough). This week I’ve had a PD on reading and one in math. I’m attending a weeklong Responsive Classroom conference in July and the TC Writing Institute in August. Additionally I will be spending lots of leisure time with my three children (14,12 and 8) and our friends.


    1. Alexis,
      You will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE responsive classroom! I have used it since the day I t was brought to my attention (with adaptations each year of course) but I have NEVER once thought it wasn’t worth the investment. It has changed the way I teach and look at children.
      My dream is to go to the TC Writing Institute! I hope you’ll share your experience! Be sure to tag me if you do so I don’t miss it in the vast CYBER world!


  5. I have only had 3 days so far and have workshops this week. This calendar is an inspiration to me. I’m going to make mine this morning and will blog it later. Did you see Stacey’s tweets yesterday. I think they are the same as that blog post. I want to get better at identifying mentor texts as well.


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