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.