Tip #1 for Making Your Next School Year Easier

True confession: I can be a bit of a procrastinator. I’m forever putting off those bigger jobs – like reshuffling my classroom – until summertime. And by then, I’m left with a pretty daunting list. But as anxious as I am to take advantage of those eight precious weeks, I’ve learned that it’s just as important to simply enjoy the professional perk we call summer vacation.

We teachers are lucky to get one, and it’s for good reason: While we may no longer need the time off to sow and harvest crops, we do need it to nurture ourselves. Teaching is all consuming. The fact that a term like “teacher burnout” exists is indication of just how much this job can take out of us. And that’s why, first in my series on 10 Things To Do This Summer To Make Next Year Easier is this:

 It’s vital that we teachers take time in the summer for things that we enjoy doing – not necessarily the things we have to do. That means taking naps in the middle of the day, if the mood strikes. Pick up that series you’ve been meaning to read, and plow through! Tend to your garden, take a trip, pamper yourself with a massage – whatever floats your boat.

Here are some more specific ideas:

--- Look into organizations that offer teacher discounts, such as parks, museums and zoos, and then take advantage of those.

--- Trade in your teaching hat for a student’s. If you’ve always had a hankering to learn how to knit, or cook, or speak Arabic, now’s your chance! Many municipalities as well as nonprofit organizations offer affordable classes over the summer months. Honing those other parts of your brain will make you a more well-rounded human and a better teacher.

--- Surround yourself with nature. We spend 10 months of the year within the confines of our classroom. The warm weather months offer us a rare opportunity to get outside. Find a hiking trail. Get on your bike. Join a softball league. Think of it as recess for teachers.

--- Hang out with your family (if you find that relaxing!). During the school year, we’re moms and dads to our students. Sometimes, our actual children (and spouses, partners, parents, etc.) can feel a bit neglected. Take some time to revel in your kids, your pets, whomever you define as family, without the pressure of having to get through that pile of grading.

--- Reconnect with friends. You probably spend more time with your colleagues than your friends outside of school; or maybe your colleagues have become your closest friends. But chances are, your conversations have been limited to the inevitable ups and downs of the workplace. Summer is a great time to hang out with your teacher buddies or other friends (or both, together!) and talk about something other than the broken copy machine.

Ready? Get set. Go – and get some rest. Check back soon for the next installment of 10 Things To Do This Summer To Make Next Year Easier!

Happy Summer!
Mary Beth

P.S.  Check out how I'm following my own advice...

Find all the tips HERE:  Tip 2Tip 3Tip 4Tip 5Tip 6Tip 7Tip 8Tip 9Tip 10

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