Student (and Teacher) Summer Brain Drain

Leadership

The summer break (although almost over) is often referred to by educators as the “Brain Drain” holiday. Commonly referred to as the “Summer Brain Drain,” learning loss happens to nearly all students during the months of June, July and August. Researchers are now in agreement with what parents have already known (see ‘Summer Brain Drain’ Robs Some Students of Skills Gained During School Year). In fact there is a school of thought that suggests that “Most students — regardless of family income or background — lose 2 to 2 1/2 months of the math computational skills that they learned during the school year.” Over the life of a school student it is possible to lose up to two years of learning!

Furthermore,  there is some scholarship that suggests teachers too face a similar regression in learning. When everyone returns from the long break, while the main talk in the staff room might be about time spent with family and friends, I would hope there will be time for some professional learning as well. (In the article Sizzling Summer Tips for Super Teachers there are a number of great ideas to help teachers prepare for the new academic year).

However, the beginning of a new academic school year signals the start of new beginnings with teachers working overtime to minimize the impact of the summer break on learning. Watching teachers breathe new life into their classrooms and seeing students enthusiastically engaged is a sight to behold.

Enjoy the year!

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