The school year is over. The paperwork is complete, grades are processed and submitted, and your classroom is clean and ready for next year. Time for a well-deserved break!
Spending long hours in the classroom grading and carrying out all of the extra activities that are part of a teacher’s daily routine can make the school year a challenge. There are times to take breaks during the year, but summer offers the unique opportunity to unwind. Summer offers a chance to take care of yourself. Spend some time on hobbies and interests that were neglected during the school year.
There are roughly two months from the time the final grades are turned in to the time you come back to the classroom to start planning for the new school year and to get your classroom ready. There is a strong temptation to spend time getting ahead in planning and assignments, but resist that urge!
Spend time during the summer preparing in a different way: relaxing!
- Limit the Amount of Work You Do – Getting to summer break, with all of the finals and grading and end-of-the-year festivities, requires a certain level of destressing. Being an excellent educator and knowing that the next semester is coming, you want to start to get ready for it. Put some limits on how much time you will spend over the break preparing for the fall. Spend a few hours a week on school-related functions, and then head out into the sunshine.
- Turn Off the Alarm – Unless you need to be up to get to the pool or an excursion on a cruise, there is no need to wake up early. Indulge in a little extra sleep each day to recharge.
- Read…for Yourself – There is a stack of books, either on the bookshelf or in the e-reader, that you have meant to read for months. Now that you have the time, turn off the phone and lose yourself in as many books as you can over the break. It is a great way to relax, and you may even find some inspiration for the coming semester.
- Spend Time With Family and Friends – They may be missing you as you were working on lesson plans, grading, and sleeping since the beginning of the year. Make some dates with the people that are closest to you and give yourself time to enjoy them. It may not be until spring break when they see you again.
- Reconnect With Hobbies – Whether you make artisanal home goods for your Etsy shop or binge-watch Netflix and Amazon Originals, the hobbies you love may have been collecting dust over the last few months. Reconnecting with them recharges the creative batteries and get inspired for the upcoming year.
- Have New Experiences – Go for a walk in the woods. Have a night out at the theater. Take the family on a trip to a place you have meant to head to for a while. And take the long route to get there. In a world where we emphasize things, it is the experience we have that we will treasure.
We know that teachers are hard workers and committed to the success of their students. But even high-performance machinery needs some downtime for recharging and repairing. Take this time to have some adventures and prepare for the new year. Your students will appreciate the energy and new ideas you will bring back to the classroom.