6 Things Educators in Higher Ed Should Do This Summer


What are your summer plans? Is there anything in particular you are looking forward to? Are you planning a fun vacation with your family or friends? Have you created a “To Do” list of chores and projects that you need to complete at home? Will you teach summer classes or spend time prepping for the fall semester?

Here are six practical things we recommend you do this summer:

1. Teach Summer Classes
Summer classes are offered in various modalities. You may find opportunities to teach on ground. Most colleges will offer two summer sessions. You may also have the opportunity to teach online classes in your discipline. This is a great way to supplement your income. It is also a great way to gain experience teaching new classes that you have not prepped for and taught previously. Inquire about opportunities to teach summer classes.

2. Prepare and Plan
In the summer, we like to prepare for the next semester by doing some lesson planning. We consider new activities that we can implement in our classes. We also look for new videos show that relate to our content. By preparing and planning in the summer, we can rest assured that lectures, powerpoints, videos, activities, resources and assessments are updated for the following year.

3. Curriculum Development
This is also a great time to work on projects, such as course development or curriculum revisions. If the university has standardized curriculum, there may be opportunities to help to make the necessary revisions and updates. Textbooks used in courses are often updated, because new editions are published. The curriculum may need to be slightly modified to coincide with the revision of the textbook. Assignments may also need to be updated or revised. Grading rubrics may need to be created or revised to accurately assess and score assignments.

4. Research
This is also a great time to work on research projects. Planning research projects. Conducting a literature review on topics of interest. Writing proposals for conferences you wish to attend. Researching different conferences within your discipline or related to higher education can also be done in the summer. This allows for adequate time to prepare proposals that can be submitted for consideration.

5. Professional Development
Attend a conference. Present at a conference. These are great ways to remain current in your field and to network with other professionals in the field. Conduct a web search for conferences for higher education professionals.

All of the tasks listed above have professional benefit. When is the last time you updated your CV or resume? This is something that is easy to overlook. The CV or resume is often not considered until it is needed. The summer months provide a great time to update your CV or resume to reflect professional activities such as classes taught, curriculum developed, and research participation. An updated CV or resume could be used to apply for positions that may become available during the summer months. Continue to look for openings at local colleges and universities.

6. Rest and Recharge
While planning and preparing for the following semester can help to reduce stress at the beginning of the semester and during the school year, it is also important to spend some time recharging. Teaching is a lifestyle! Summer vacation does not necessary equate to several months of time off, but it does usually mean a more flexible schedule. Spend some time doing things that you enjoy. Take a vacation, spend time with family, catch up with friends. Read a book for pleasure. Take a yoga class. Get a massage. Try something new – something that you have been considering but just haven’t gotten around to – and DO IT! Begin the new semester, rested, refreshed, and recharged!IMG_4116

Photo Credit: @snapshot_factory & @iamkiran

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