5 Ways for Teachers to Make the Most of Summer

Teaching is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding professions, but it can also be challenging and draining. Luckily, summer break allows us to rejuvenate and indulge in the joys of a less structured lifestyle, adventures, and quality time with loved ones. However, it’s important to strike a balance between savoring the summer and accomplishing necessary school-related tasks. Here are some ideas to help you balance your summer vacation and your school to-do list.

1. Relax

Take advantage of summer vacation to replenish your energy levels. Allow yourself to unwind and recharge those batteries that were completely drained during the school year.

  • Catch up on sleep – Prioritize getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night. If you like napping, go for it. Rest is crucial for the well-being of both your body and mind.
  • Exercise – Engage in physical activity to stay active. You don’t have to run a marathon – simply take a walk in your neighborhood, play a game of basketball, or explore a new sport like pickleball.
  • Pamper yourself – Treat yourself to self-care activities such as a massage, facial, or trying out a new hairstyle. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at a new restaurant with friends. Engage in activities that help you relax and rejuvenate.
  • Take care of your health – Since it can be challenging to find time for doctor and dentist appointments during the school year, make it a priority to schedule these appointments during the summer. Your well-being should always come first.
  • Reconnect with family and friends – Dedicate quality time to your family and friends, as it may be difficult to do so during the school year. Plan enjoyable get-togethers, visit the beach or a museum, or simply stay at home and relish the company of those who matter most to you.

2. Reflect

Once you’ve recharged, set aside some time to reflect on the previous year.

  • Consider what went well and why
  • Consider what didn’t go as planned and why
  • Identify your personal struggles
  • Determine what changes you should implement in the upcoming year
  • Recognize the aspects you want to maintain

Write down your answers and select a few areas to work on during the summer, ensuring a balanced approach to work and relaxation.

3. Learn

Summer is an opportune time to learn new things.

  • If your teaching certificate is up for renewal soon, complete any recertification classes or required hours in advance, you’ll be so glad you did!
  • Take the opportunity to familiarize yourself with new programs that your district will introduce in the fall, enabling you to better support your students. Experiment with new educational apps for your classroom.
  • Expand your horizons by trying a new hobby, taking a cooking class, visiting a museum, or exploring your community and beyond.
  • Consider incorporating a few academic books into your summer reading list or getting a head start on the books required by your school.

4. Plan

Dedicate time to writing or reviewing your lesson plans for the first few weeks of school. Now is a good time to assess and revamp old plans or discard them entirely.

Reflect on your daily schedule and identify areas where you can make it more efficient. Keep an eye out for any changes to the overall campus schedule and adapt accordingly.

If you intend to bring in guest speakers or organize special activities that require long-term planning, now is the time to set the wheels in motion.

While planning, ensure you make arrangements for yourself and your family, ensuring you strike a balance between work and personal life. Don’t forget to factor in some fun into your plans!

5. Prep

The beginning of the school year tends to be hectic, so utilize this time to prepare items you know you’ll need for the start and beyond. Review your lesson plans and make necessary copies if you didn’t get the chance to do so before school ended. Make sure you have all the books and materials required for the first few weeks of lessons.

Shop for classroom decorations and bulletin board items and have everything ready for setup. Take advantage of sales to stock up on necessary supplies.

Make your life easier by planning and preparing meals in advance. Cook extra meals to freeze or dedicate time to prepping and freezing a few meals. This practice can be extended beyond the beginning of the school year to keep your freezer stocked with convenient meals and ingredients – a true game changer!

Remember that although summer may seem long, the days pass by quickly. Embrace and enjoy every second of this well-deserved break.

Teia Hoover Baker is an educator, published author, and entrepreneur. She is an innovative, devoted educator whose career has been dedicated to coordinating programs that support struggling learners. Her passion is meeting students where they are and guiding them to excel. Her main focus is always what is best for children. Teia holds a Bachelor’s in Journalism and a Master’s of Education. In her spare time, she enjoys being Lovie to her growing grandchildren.

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