Monday, July 16, 2012

Champions Are Made In The Off-Season!

Ask any coach what it takes to be a champion and the answer will more than likely sound something similar to the title of this post - Champions Are Made In The Off-Season. The time to work on sport-specific skills and fundamentals is not in the heat of competition season. The time to improve skills and fundamentals is, yes you guessed it, the off-season.

Most educators work officially on the 185-day school year which runs something close to August through May or September through June. During my summer off-season, I have observed educators from around the world connecting, sharing, and learning from one another. Many others are attending workshops, reading professional books, and finding ways to improve their craft. 

We began a weekly tweet chat to stay connected over the summer using a unique hash tag (#10TuesTweets). We meet every Tuesday, at 10 am CST for ten weeks in the summer to discuss various initiatives and topics related to our school. The response has been very positive! I can't imagine a more convenient or powerful way to connect and learn with other professionals. Week 8 discussion will be a time for anyone who wants to join us to share and reflect on their own off-season preparation for the 2012-2013 school year. 

Just for fun, here are a few things I've learned during my own off-season:

  1. Pinterest is not just for soccer moms. Not only can I get the latest crock pot recipe, I can learn about the best iPad apps for educators or read an educational article. It's another tool to connect and learn with and from other professionals.
  2. I can attend national conferences "virtually" by following a unique hash tag on Twitter during the "live" conference.
  3. I have found numerous web and social media resources to share with teachers.
  4. Twitter is a "game changer" - try it - you'll be hooked too!
What did you do in your off-season? I would love to hear your comments!

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