Ah, summer break. Were you counting down? Are you feeling a twinge of sadness as your students move on? We’re sure you’ll miss your students, but summer break is necessary to refuel, relax, and regroup. (You won’t even have to wait for a bell to ring to dismiss you to the restroom!) However, do you really get as much free time as you’d like? Or are your summer plans filling rather quickly? We recently published a poll on our social media pages to find out what you all are planning to do over summer break. An overwhelming majority of educators said they’d be taking part in at least one professional development activity, but an equal number said they’d be vacationing. It’s all about balance!
Work, work, and more work
It might be summer break; however, there’s still a lot to be done as an educator before you go back to school in a few months. You might pick up a summer job to earn some extra cash, teach or attend summer school, or even host a summer camp.
While your students are away for the summer, you can scope out some professional development opportunities in your area. You might be surprised how many surrounding organizations offer one- or two-day conferences for teachers during the summer. Professional development activities can be great for networking with other educators, becoming acquainted with new educational strategies, achieving personal growth, and gaining inspiration before the next school year. Spend some time pinning ideas on Pinterest for the next school year . . . that would totally pass as professional development, right?
Make a goal of taking a few hours out of your week to think about the upcoming year. Search for potential field trip options or explore the web for fun and engaging activities. Arrange your classroom setup or plan the first few units of material in order to make the transition in August or September that much easier.
It’s called a break for a reason
Don’t let your summer go to waste; enjoy yourself! You might have work that needs to be done in the next few months, but don’t forget to relax. Catch up on some much-needed sleep, complete some DIY projects for your home or yard, start a new hobby, catch up on some books that you’ve been wanting to read, or schedule regular lunch dates with those not on summer break.
Maybe summer can be used to get back into an exercise routine that you might not have had time for during the school year. Go on a morning walk or join an exercise class. Exercise can be a great way to unwind from the craziness of school and also has many health benefits.
Summer break is always a great time to take a family vacation. Whether it be out of the country, to the beach or the mountains, or just to the nearest state, vacations are a great way to unwind. If you are on a limited budget, there are many group activities to do in your surrounding area. Visit the public library and start a book club or go to museums, aquariums, or zoos. Pack a lunch and picnic in the park. Start some new traditions that you can repeat each and every summer.
Summer is a well-needed break for educators and students alike. You might feel obligated to spend some time preparing for the upcoming year, but don’t forget to relax and enjoy your time off! Use the summer to be good to yourself. Branch out and try new things.