No one appreciates summer more than a teacher. Those hard-earned summer months mark a break from stacks of grading, rowdy students, and cramped classrooms. But the work doesn’t stop at the last bell.
There is so much to think about: next year’s curriculum, the needs of your new students, and the constant pedagogical and assessment changes. With all of these things running through your head, it’s easy to forget about you. Here are our favorite strategies for a summer that is both relaxing and productive.
- Connect with Your Teaching Community
Your fellow educators are your best resource. Speak with your colleagues about your ideas for the upcoming school year, follow some of your favorite educational experts on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter, and catch-up with podcasts like #edchat Radio and Talks with Teachers.
Here are a few examples of inspiring, entertaining Ted Talks you might enjoy:
- Keep Up With the Tech World
When it comes to technology, change is the only constant. One of our favorite sites is Promethean Planet, a great source of free interactive whiteboard resources. You can also read up on the 32 Most Innovative Online Educational Tools to Use in 2015 for new ways to cut down on grading time, creatively assess student understanding, and engage your students.
- Get Funded
Have you thought of some amazing field trips, projects, or resources for next year, but don’t have the money to make them a reality? Donors Choose is an innovative charitable organization that allows teachers to request funding for classroom materials or activities. To date, over 328 million dollars have been raised for more than 235,000 teachers! Look out for a special partnership between Advancement Courses and Donors Choose this fall.
After a stressful year, you may need a kick of positive energy. Volunteering is a great way to help your community and it just feels good. Many local libraries or community organizations need volunteers to teach English to adult immigrants or recreation classes for kids. Get your hands dirty with Habitat for Humanity (never underestimate how good it feels to build something after a long school year). Consider becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister or being a mentor to a youth in your community. If you’re not sure where to start, check out Volunteer Match, which will match your skills, schedule, and location with a local organization.
- Rejuvenate Yourself
Your summer break is meant for you to recharge your batteries, reflect on your achievements during the school year, and get excited about teaching again. No matter how you plan to spend the summer, you should take this time to shake off the stresses of last year, soak in the quiet, and treat yourself to some well-deserved R&R. You deserve it!