How Teachers Can Make the Most of Summer Break
Being a teacher is tough. It can be stressful and sometimes make you feel underappreciated, but it is one of the most important jobs! One benefit to being a teacher is having a summer break; some teachers take vacations, others prepare for the next school year. How can you make the most of your summer break?
First things first, take some time to relax. Even if you have a lot planned for the summer, take some time to just kick back and care for yourself. Studies have shown that resting and relaxing not only help to relieve stress and anxiety, but can also have other health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a study that found “relaxation-response techniques, such as meditation, yoga, and prayer, could reduce the need for health care services by 43 percent.” So go on vacation or just take a few days to enjoy some time at home with friends and family and absolutely no work!
It is always important to stay up to date on changes and trends. Summer is no exception. Make sure that you continue to work on yourself and improve what you do. Many school districts will help provide opportunities during the summer for professional development. And even if your district isn’t one that does, look for other ways to do that independently. Not only will it be valuable for you, but it will also bring value to your students the next year and years to come.
Exercise & Get Outside
Summer is all about getting outside and being active. The weather is warm and nice and a lot of people just want to spend their days lounging by the pool. While there is nothing wrong with that, this is also a great time to work at getting in shape. So even if you just hop in the pool to cool off and swim a few laps or you begin running or biking, get outside and get active. Once school starts back up it can be difficult to start an exercise routine. If you get in the habit of being active during the summer it will be much easier to stay active when the lesson planning and grading begins.
Get Ready for the Next Year
It is inevitable. Summer will end and school starts again. And it may be tempting to keep your distance from school as long as possible, but that only leads to a growing sense of dread as the school year approached. It is beneficial to plan for the new school year before it actually arrives. Take a few hours each week to work on planning. You can prepare the setup for your classroom, look over curriculum and get lesson plans ready, or maybe just work on your continuing education for your credential or license. Don’t wait until the last week before school to try and get everything together. This will only increase your anxiety and make it hard to really get back into the swing of things. Plan, prepare, and enjoy the summer.
Spend Time with Loved Ones
School, grading papers, and preparing lessons can take up not only a lot of your time, but also a lot of time away from family and those you love. Summer is a great time to reconnect and work on those relationships that might have dwindled during the year. Whether it is a spouse, parent, child, or even just a friend, set some time aside specifically for them and work at building that relationship up.
Always remember that being a teacher, though not easy, is an important role in many people’s lives. You are helping to educate and shape the next generations. This is no small task and can come at a price of your own time and happiness. So this summer remember to relax and enjoy some much earned time off, but also work on improving yourself through exercise, professional development and building into those you love. Take advantage of the break and make the most of summer.