7 Ways For Teachers To Enjoy Summer Break &
Start The School Year On The Right Foot
Every teacher knows the excitement of the first few weeks of school! There is something about fresh supplies like dry erase markers that actually work and the jumbo pack of multicolored Sharpies, combined with excited and possibly nervous faces of new students, that can make the beginning of the school year feel almost magical. Every teacher also knows how the last few weeks of the school year seem to drag on forever! The kids are stir-crazy, your colleagues are exhausted, and May quickly begins to feel like the longest month of the year.
After months of long nights grading papers, weeks of standardized testing, and days filled with trying to meet the academic, emotional, AND social needs of every student, summer often can’t come fast enough for teachers! Once it’s here, it’s important to make the most of those precious days of Summer Break!
Tips For Making The MOST Of Your Summer Break:
Take Time For Self-Care
During the school year, teachers typically work way more than a 9-5 job. It can be difficult to squeeze in time for yourself in between lesson planning, grading, and showing your support by attending an assortment of extracurricular events for your students.
Schedule time each week during the summer for some much needed, and well-deserved, self-care. Whether it’s booking a massage or simply going for a walk in the sunshine, take some time to restore, refresh, and take care of yourself.
Enjoy Time With Family
Amidst the school year hustle and bustle, it can be hard to find time for “fun” with the family. Balancing your teaching responsibilities and household obligations, such as staying on top of laundry and grocery shopping, doesn’t leave a lot of time to simply enjoy being together. This summer, carve out some time for family fun! Go on a picnic, see a new movie, or plan a family vacation.
Read A Book
Summer is a great time to get caught up on your reading wishlist! Whether it’s a professional development book you haven’t had time to read, a fiction story you’ve been putting off, or a mix of the two, grab your library card and enjoy reading a good book!
Reflect On The Previous School Year
It’s often said that the best teachers are reflective teachers. These teachers take time to look back on lessons they’ve taught and units they’ve developed and ask themselves, “What went well?” “What could be improved?” Grab a journal and spend some time reflecting on your own teaching practice. What were your greatest “wins” this school year? Where did you fall? Use this reflection time to create a game plan for strengthening your teaching in the upcoming school year.
Attend A Professional Development Conference
Summer is a great time to strengthen your craft by learning about new best practices and networking with other teachers like yourself. Whether you’re looking for character education opportunities, literacy tools, or cooperative learning strategies for the middle school science student, there are professional development conferences and events for every teacher!
Get Ahead and Revamp Your Plans
Being well-prepared and working ahead is an excellent way to reduce stress and ensure a smooth and enjoyable start to the school year. Schedule a couple of hours each week to revisit your lesson plans, make any necessary changes, and add new materials and activities. Come September, you’ll be thankful for the work you did in July.
Set Up In Small Chunks
As the school year draws near, it’s time to begin setting up your classroom and preparing for incoming students. There are boxes to unpack, supplies to organize, and copies to be made. Instead of ending your summer early by waiting until the last week to prep your classroom, allocate smaller chunks of time, earlier in the summer, to begin your necessary preparations. This ensures that your classroom will be ready to go by the first day of school, but the process of “setting up” will remain enjoyable rather than tedious. You can look at what worked last year and find products that will help with the upcoming year. Did your students love and learn a lot from this Inventors and Inventions Scavenger Hunt? Would they benefit from this Back to School Escape Room?
For teachers, summer is a well-deserved break from the chaos, an opportunity for refreshment and renewal. It’s also an excellent time to brush up on your instructional strategies and refine your teaching craft. Use these 7 tips to get the most out of your summer vacation!