It’s Summertime and the living is easy-right? While summer provides a welcome break from the daily classroom activities, teachers don’t get to experience the same sense of freedomas their students.
Being a teacher means keeping your body of knowledge in tip-top shape. Summer break equals a lot of preparation for the upcoming school year, especially since teachers have to stay a few steps ahead of their students in order to guide them over the course of the next school year.
Here are five ways to say connected this summer and make the most of those precious summer days.
1. Connect with Colleagues
Take the time this summer to connect with colleagues in a casual, relaxing environment. Everyone gets busy, so schedule your dates at the beginning of the summer. A coffee outing or cultural event is a nice opportunity to connect outside the school walls. Want to make it a planning day? That’s okay, but set reasonable goals for your time together. Consider asking everyone to bring one new idea and let the conversations flow. You don’t want to feel stressed about getting together!
2. Take a Vacation from Your Vacation
All teachers know there is very little “break” in summer break—professional development, summer school, household projects, family events—the days are packed! We know the temptation to start planning for next year right away, but take a break from everything “teaching” for at least one week. Or maybe an entire month. Allow yourself this time, schedule it if you need to, and you’ll be better when you come back to it.
3. Prepare for Adventure
Every teacher knows that summer is a great time to reinvigorate lessons or units that fell a little flat. In addition to your usual plans, why not think about ways to bring your students into the world (or bringing the world to your students)? There were so many great field trip opportunities we heard about too late to take advantage of during the school year. Research your opportunities and secure spots during the summer months. Don’t forget virtual field trips! Many websites and organizations can connect you with experts to bring excitement into your classroom when trips aren’t possible.
4. Read Like a Student
Read at least one book that is popular with your students right now or find one that you think students will love. Instead of thinking about how you might use it in your lessons, just enjoy it. Not everything needs to be a teachable moment, and sometimes knowing just a little bit about a popular book or character can help you connect with students in the first days of school. Oh, and don’t forget to read like a grown-up, too. Everyone deserves at least one beach book!
5. Do You
Make a commitment to start one healthy habit in the first weeks of summer. New research says it takes about 66 days to form a habit (the old myth was 21 days!). If you decide that next school year you’d like to work out three times a week, or cook a healthy meal at least two nights a week, begin now and your new behavior will feel like a normal part of day-to-day life just in time for the school year to begin again. So start dishing, dancing, or lifting now to beat the mid-year slump!
Follow these five ways to stay connected this summer and start your next school year refocused and recharged.
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