Tuesday, August 16, 2011

School holiday vs School season


August is time-out school in most part of the European countries. Students and teachers feel free to go on vacation. The beach is the most interesting destiny. Sun and sea do miracles to school stress. 

Well, I'm on holidays! Nice to do different activities. To feel free for some days. But... for most of this summer I'm on "worliday".
The word is not mine. It belongs to Lucy Kellaway and defines a bit my holiday summer.

So, I wake up, do a few emails and then go for a walk by the sea. Later, I might write an article sitting under a window with a nice view, I browse some newspapers, I tweet and refresh my Facebook profile.

After that, I go outside to see some friends or family, and at end of the day, I join my yoga group.

"Intellectual stimulation charges my batteries more reliably than sitting in the rain with bored people"- Lucy Kellaway wrote and she is right.

Speaking about intellectual stimulation charges, I found a  film trylogy on Vimeo very interesting. Let me introduce the first one I chose: Move!
Watch the video below by Rick Mirecki:

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

Wow! What a nice 'move'! Can you think about it as a tool for captivating - I like this word! Remembers me "The Little Prince" by Saint-Exupéry - your students?

The bell of the school year will soon ring. September 1st. So, we will be back on 'Move'!

After a long and leisurely summer, some students need extra boost or motivation to get amped about school.

Speaking about leisurely summer! Last week, I was browsing The New York Times and I read an interesting article This is your brain in Summer.

As you could read, the article is about students losing skills if they are not engaged in learning over the summer season.

Well, I can say, as an educator, that it's true. Summer learning loss is real. But not catastrophic! Students need to relax after ten months of school time. And a good teacher knows how to put them again on learning.

In the 21st century educators are no longer the sole importers of information.  They empower students to learn independently in areas of interests and talents. Some students might be informed during summer time.

Of course, it would be great if all parents  could send kids to enriched camps, take them on educational vacations or surround them with books during the summer as the article suggests. The educators recommend it when they know families could afford. But not all families can afford this kind of summer learning.

Not all the kids will be ready for a brand-new semester of classes, essays, and exams.

In the USA, school starts in August. Students and teachers are back to school season, and I'm guessing some students  "are dragging their feet to hop back on the learning wagon."

The first days or first week are always a bit difficult. For both sides. Educators, whether it's first year at school or not, starting school back up can get a little nerve racking.
Students must to adapt to different learning rhythms. A new school year! A new grade for the most part of them. So, new teachers, new students, new curriculum.

Some teachers are aprehensive about the learning loss of summer season. I 've seen some tweets about those feelings.  They must test the different losses, because every student is unique.
But, let's continue  to Vimeo trilogy, this time with Learn! Watch now a second video by Rick Mireki:

LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

The short but stunning artistic video will remind us, teachers and students how enriching learning is: regardless of the skill, knowledge or experience, and regardless of our age.

Mireki wrote that the films are the result of "3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage."

Do you want something more exciting to share with your students?


This two weeks until September, if you live in an European country, make yourself a plan for the first week lessons. Don't forget to include this two videos. That'll get you back into swing of things without any stress.

Video 1: Move
  • Display a dialogue: Use the video to a brainstorming about vacations.

  • Encourage the interesting points, allow the students to verbally express their feelings: like or dislike, why and how.

  • Ring up in the middle, smoothly, the high points od previous school year

Video 2: Learn

Inspire with some simple isues:

  • After watching this beautiful film, don't you want to learn more?

  • Could you knock on your neighbor's door and see what he or she can teach you?

  • Would you like to invite a member of your family, father, mother or grand-parents to come in the classroom to share his or her professional activity?

Some conclusions:

After all, isn't that what being a lifelong learner is really about?

Don't spend most of your class time lecturing students abouit summer losses... getting them collaborating and learning from each other.

Keep it simple. Make your students feel that learning something new every day is an enjoyable activity.

Need more inspiration to get your students completely motivated to learn something new?

I will be back. Meanwhile, I'll keeping on "worliday"!


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School holiday vs school season by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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