Summertime: Educator Reboot

For years it was said tongue-in-cheek that the favorite months of any teacher’s year were June, July, and August.  As a result of a bit of a time warp, those months have been trimmed to a few weeks shy of three full months.  However, the idea is still the same.  Teachers love, and I should add need, the summer months.

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Why are these months so important?  In a word–REBOOT!

That’s right!  Control, Alt, Delete!

Reboot is defined as “start up again after a computer crash.”   Hence, “reboot” has the connotation of starting a process over again.

While you might not look back at May and consider it a “crash,” any educator can understand the beauty of being able to start the process over again.  Having completed the school year, the summer season allows us to revert to our default settings.

What do we mean by default(of a computer program or other mechanism) Default is when something “reverts automatically to a preselected option.”  It allows something that is not functioning as designed to be reset to operate as designed.

Yes, that’s exactly what the reboot does for us.  It lets us return to the default settings and begin the process over again.  So if things last year began to slip or slide, maybe even leap or tumble, just know that summer is here and it is time for educators to reboot and return to default settings.

So what settings should we check for our default mode?  Let me suggest several:

  • PHILOSOPHY – This is a very important part of our reboot.  During the school year, educators are busy preparing, teaching, dealing parents, students, fellow teachers, etc.  Activities abound.  And, our philosophy is on autopilot.  Summertime is a great time to reboot!  The default settings to frame our new year must include teaching all truth as God’s truth, teaching all students, intentional biblical worldview training, teaching critical thinking, etc.
  • PROCEDURES – Review what worked, what worked very well, what needs refined, and what needs scrapped.  That’s right, it is time to reboot!  Thomas Edison proclaimed, “I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work.”  Perhaps you need to strategize to keep most procedures, tweak a few, and then add some to your very own list of those that don’t work.  It is all part of summertime’s return to default.
  • PASSION – Hear me out!  We all have something that we enjoy doing that we have to forego during our hectic schedules for the months of school.  Let me encourage you to return to the default position.  Reboot!  Maybe it’s reading a novel, camping, blogging, travel, or just enjoying your coffee on the deck each morning, whatever.  Use your summer months to start the process over again.
  • PEOPLE – The poet proclaimed that “no man is an island.”  And it is true.  Often an educator’s schedule during the school months crowds out time for furthering relationships with family and friends.  Many its aging parents, sometimes living a distance away, or maybe its children or grandchildren.  It could be friends, neighbors, or some other person that is important in our lives.  Summertime is the educator’s opportunity to reboot our relationships.  Our default settings with these important people can allow us to reset many relationships that need attention.
  • PHYSIQUE – Before you write me off as maniacal, let me finish.  You do not need to become a bodybuilder or spend extra time in front of a mirror.  But part of every educator’s summer reboot should include giving attention to one’s physical needs.  The school months are very demanding on an educator.  Stress often weakens the immune system, sleep deprivation is common, and even balancing the demands of the profession with the familial duties can cause physical strain.  Use the summer to reboot!
  • PRIORITIES – Use the summertime for reflection; perhaps you need to re-order some priorities before beginning next school year.  Reflection shows you that a schedule tweak here and a minor adjustment there will be the impetus to help you better meet your spiritual, family, and professional responsibilities.  Reboot!

I remember when I first heard the concept of “year round school.”  I heard students moan and groan at the concept; however, as an educator, I also immediately resisted.  It was not a lack of commitment to the job.  It was not a disdain for school.  No.  It was the realization that every educator needs time to REBOOT!  The summer months are needed to give the educator an opportunity to find again the default settings before embarking on a new school year.  So have a great summer.  And, REBOOT!

What do you find that is a must for your summer months?  

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Edward is the founder and managing editor of Focus on Christian Education. He also serves as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of Christian Schools.