May 12 – 18: Summer

Q1: Share and caption a photo (or video)  from a cherished summer memory of your own.

Q2: What are some ways you (or a teacher you know) have earned extra cash in summers past?

Q3: Some say summer break no longer makes sense, is a relic from a different era, and negatively affects learning. What say you?

Q4: What’s on your summer reading list? Photos or links please.

Q5: What were the growth or learning experiences of the summers of your youth?

Q6: What are you doing THIS summer? Photos and/or links preferred.


“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

My name is Rich Hovey. I work with at-risk teenagers on California’s Central Coast, and am pleased to bring you a special edition of #slowchatED. Educators across the land are gazing with hope at the coming months on their personal calendars. Let’s harness all that anticipation and explore the most wonderful and envied of fringe benefits: Summer Vacation

When I was a younger man, veteran teacher Jeff Weit sparked my imagination with a snapshot from his memories of summers off. In the middle of a July cross-country road trip many years ago, Jeff pulled off the highway somewhere in the Dakotas, and pitched tents in a simple campground with a parking lot and open field. The next morning, his wife and children still asleep, Jeff emerged to find himself surrounded by swelling hot air balloons and their crews. Jeff wondered what day of the week it was. He fired up the campstove, dug out a stack of paper cups, then wandered about the field, handing out coffee and making new friends.

This week on #slowchatED, I hope to gather more stories like Jeff’s. Let’s talk about tasting rooms and ice cream trucks, road trips and long-haul flights, grad school and summer reading lists, side jobs and volunteer hours. Let’s talk about sunscreen, open-toed shoes, frisbees, grilled meats, and of course, that to-do list you’re working on. Let’s recall great memories and gaze forward at those which have not yet been made.


One comment

  1. At sixteen, and a southern California “beach bum,” a summer spent in Israel lead to a significant shift in perspective. Over the course of seven weeks I experienced sight, smells, people and places that left their mark upon my then narrow focus of the world. I was at that time what one may refer to as an “at-risk” youth. I was not a scholar nor an athlete. I was a beach dwelling youngster, whose life depended on the size of the swell and the location of the party. However, it was a summer spent abroad that shifted my future orientation. Upon my return to the United States, I had a new focus. I was different. The girl who boarded the plane in June, was not the same person that landed back at LAX in August.

    Summer is a time when our youth can experience places and people beyond the often small towns and suburbs they spend their school years residing. I encourage my students to seek out opportunities to travel both within and outside of the places they call home. It can for some, like it did for me, be an opportunity to refocus what they consider to be important and the direction they will head in the school year to come.

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