What will 2018 Einstein Academy look like this summer?

I don’t know if it’s because of the recent freezing temperatures or that I’m tired of shoveling, but I’ve already started counting down the days until summer. (111 days until June)

As a classroom teacher I always looked forward to summer vacation almost as much as my students did.  It was time for me to totally check-out of school for a much-needed mental and emotional break from working with students on a daily basis.  I’d spend the first week or so sleeping in late, weeding my gardens, and picking up a delicious fiction book. 

The summer wasn’t all fun-and-games though.  I usually participated in an annual data retreat, led by my principal, and I occasionally took a grad class to keep my teaching license up-to-date. I always made it a personal goal to read at least one professional development book over the summer. The next thing I knew it was August on the calendar and I’d start getting the itch to get back into my classroom to start preparing for another year with students.

This year I’m really looking forward to summer, but for a totally different reason.  This is the summer when the Einstein Project is going to roll-out a whole new venue of professional development that is going to be (wait for it) EPIC!

Traditionally, the Einstein Project Summer Academy was held during the last week of July.  We would offer 2-3 days of kit-specific training given by our Einstein Trainers (now known as Kit Gurus). They would spend the week sharing the ins and outs of teaching the lessons in our kits. (These tips and tricks are now found in video format on our educator portal page in case you are interested.) This was a valuable way for teachers who were new to teaching science to gain the confidence and knowledge they needed to get the most benefit from using our kits with their students.

This summer (drumroll please), Einstein will be conducting two, yes, TWO weeks of academy!  The first week will be June 18-22 and will focus on: 1) helping teachers fine-tune their knowledge base of scientific concepts, 2) how to use formative and summative assessments to measure student learning, and 3) getting a true understanding of Wisconsin Standards for Science based on NGSS format.  The second week of academy will be held on August 13-17. In both weeks we will be running a couple sessions of the required Science 101 and Engineering 101 trainings, in addition to other workshops for integrating STEM and makerspaces.

So if you’re feeling the “itch” for summer to arrive, don’t just start counting down the days left of the school year.  Make a decision to continue growing as a professional and/or challenge yourself to learn something new that will make you a rock star in the classroom.  Start by making plans to attend Einstein’s Summer Academy and block off the dates on your calendar.

More details about the specific Summer Academy sessions will be coming in future blogs.