First of all, congratulations! You made it. You survived another school year without (completely) losing your sanity. It’s summer vacation, and you are looking at two, blissful months of freedom from lesson plans, and grading. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
A lot of teachers struggle with the quick switch from juggling a million things at once to having all responsibilities alleviated. However, instead of letting yourself feel discombobulated, take this opportunity to really pamper and reward yourself. After all, you deserve it.
Take a deep breath and acknowledge the fact that it’s July, and you’re not behind in grading. Remind yourself that you don’t need to push in chairs when you are out in public or shush kids who are misbehaving at the grocery store. For now. Enjoy it.
What do you want to do this summer? Make a list of things that maybe you couldn’t do during the school year because you were too busy or didn’t have the energy. Maybe it’s a project around the house, or perhaps it’s a vacation, a camping trip with the family, or a day at the spa. Maybe you just want to lie around the house in sweatpants and eat ice cream for breakfast. Who am I to judge? Really make sure that you take time for yourself to do what you want because once September rolls around you will regret not giving yourself more time to relax and unwind.
There is usually a variety of professional development opportunities in the summer for teachers to take advantage of. I know that at the start of summer vacation this is probably the last thing you want to think about, but it’s actually the best time for learning new tactics and collaborating with other educators. In the school year, it’s difficult to take what you learn at conferences and implement it because you have a lot of other things on your plate, so in the summer you can take this new information and use it to revamp your curriculum in a less stressful environment.
After you have taken your R&R time, start thinking about the upcoming school year. Remind yourself of why you decided on this profession in the first place. Inspire yourself. Get excited about new kids and new lessons. Improve your classroom procedures, and review what hasn’t worked in the past to discover new techniques. If you use your free time in the summer for these things, then it won’t feel overwhelming during the school year. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.
For the Minority:
For those of you, like myself, who are applying for a gold medal by teaching summer school, I applaud you. And, I offer you a shoulder to comfort on. Teaching summer school is a great way to make a little extra money, but it’s also a sacrifice of your much-deserved vacation. I teach summer school for the paycheck, but also because it’s a place where I can try out different things that I may not have been able to do in the regular school year. It’s also good practice for classroom management and differentiated instruction. With that being said, however, I very much believe that it’s pivotal for teachers to have some sort of break from being in the classroom. We need that time to miss our teaching lives, and we need the time to want to go back. It’s as important for the teacher as it is for the student. We are, after all, the inspiration of the classroom. We are the hub of information, and whatever we do or don’t do for our students is impactful long after they are out of our room.
Lastly, be proud of yourself and never forget that what you do matters!
Read our previous blog post discussing Tips for Finishing the School Year Strong here
To learn more about Script and how to streamline your K12 school processes such as field trips, aftercare, parent purchases, digital permission slips, please feel free to book a demo at www.scriptapp.com
This article is written by Lauren Bubb, an English Teacher at Frankfort-Schuyler Central Schools
To reach Lauren, please contact here.