5 Things Teachers Think About in July

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thinking Brilliant or Insane
photo credit: Hmmmmmm… via photopin (license)

You may believe the only things teachers think about during summer are beaches, gardens, frozen drinks, travel, and time away from students. Most of these are pretty accurate in June, when all educators need a break from the chaos of a long, grueling school year.

Apparently, July is different.

Although many teachers have up to 10 weeks each summer to kick back and wash the chalk dust out of their hair (okay, I realize no one uses chalk anymore), most are already strategizing for the next year by mid July, and their thoughts are turning to pedagogy and professional growth.

What evidence do we have that teachers care more about education than about burgers and milkshakes? We’ve got data–statistics from Brilliant or Insane that reveal plenty about the things teacher think in the heat of July. Here is a list of the most-read blog posts, along with a few inferences about what teachers may be thinking.

5 most-read blog posts in July

1 – Your Rubric Is a Hot Mess; Here’s How to Fix It (by Jennifer Gonzalez)

Brilliant or Insane’s all-time most popular post was read 117,842 times in July, as teachers discussed the possibility of changing how we assess learning. Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks buzzed about using Gonzalez’ Single Point Rubric to avoid labeling student work and inspire mastery.

2 – 13 Reasons Students Hate Teachers

Viewed 34,491 times, this post underscores the things teachers do, when driven to raise test scores and run a controlled, disciplined classroom. The point seemed clear, as most commenters on the post and on Twitter found numerous examples of practices that they might need to improve, so their students do not, indeed, hate them.

3 – 4 Crucial Lessons New Teachers Never Learned

I often wonder if people just enjoy the super cool picture at the top of this post (note the “Brilliant or Insane” insignia on the mean teacher’s ruler). Still, based on the comments, some of the 24,773 who read this are definitely thinking about new teacher strategies that they may have missed.

4 – 22 Powerful Alternatives to “You’re Smart!” (by Angela Stockman)

More than 18,500 education stakeholders now know, if they didn’t already, that saying, “You’re smart” to kids is ineffective feedback. Our amazing senior writer, Angela Stockman, does more than simply tell people to avoid this negative praise. She provides 22 better things to say and, obviously, teachers are thinking about them.

5 – 10 Tough Truths About Your First Year of Teaching (by Angela Stockman)

It seems that new teachers are not wasting their summers twisting by the pool. No doubt, of the 16,495 who read this post, many are new or newer teachers. Of course, these truths are useful for veteran teachers too.

These five blog posts accounted for about 55 percent of our readers in July. So, these may not be the only things teachers think on a steamy summer day, but one thing is certain–they are looking forward to another school year.

And they are serious about making teaching and learning better.

What are a few other things teachers think this summer? Let us know in our comment section below.

And, as always, thanks for reading Brilliant or Insane.

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Mark Barnes is the Founder of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series, The uNseries, and other books from some of education's most reputable teachers and leaders. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Connect with @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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