The summer is often a time for rejuvenation and relaxation for teachers. A meaningful way to think of these months is as a shift in setting, from the classroom to whatever we do in the summer. But our respite is hardly work-free. These weeks away from students is also a time closer to other teaching areas. This summer’s backdrop, however, is without precedent.
Highlighted this year are several societal phenomena unique to 2021. The klieg lights illuminating student learning loss, how we engage with the concept of race in our schools, the role of technology, and pressures related to COVID-19 dot the sky’s horizon.
This constellation of topics, ignorant of “summer break,” touches on the educational landscape throughout July and August. Being visible and in that environment requires approaches not used during the school year. The experience being provided – special offers on consumer products/services, free professional development or product training, exclusive online events with education thought leaders, and other exclusive offers – is essential. But how and where they are promoted is where the creative juices flow.
Below are five examples of partnerships and places perfect for making summer connections with educators.
1. Museums: Summer sees attendance at museums spike. Educators finally have the time to visit those they have wanted to visit for months. Taking advantage of that flow can happen at or near the physical location or offering discounted attendance or a gift card for the café or museum shop. In return, you can plant a seed, build your network, or get input on your service.
2. Summer Sports: This category can include a range of sports or ages. Summer sports leagues for adults and camps for children are attended by educators, parents of students in need of a service, or run by educators as a summer gig. Tapping into the right sporting environment may take some additional effort. Still, one place to start is in minor or college baseball leagues across the nation.
3. Travel Providers: Educators travel in the summer and use that time to read. As we plan our trips, rent cars, and search for the perfect getaway, I am still interested in my profession. Suppose I can have an experience or be connected to a product as I make a reservation. In that case, that is an excellent use of time.
4. Concerts: I have attended a lot of concerts in my life. I don’t recall ever seeing an educational vendor at any of them. Why not? Educators love live music of all types; some of us teach it or are in bands. Similar to the options above, how you make yourself visible will be necessary. But it is fair to say that this is not a space crowded by the competition, and you might get some excellent extra credit points by being there.
5. Gyms: Akin to the museum category above, the summer brings time for educators to get into or develop that summer workout routine. Educator social hours, sponsored discounts at the snack bar, or posted opportunities to connect with your organization on the digital or physical message board are all options to tap into teachers’ social circles. Similar to concerts, educators
work out, and some of us teach health and wellness yoga classes or clubs have exploded as options in schools.