Summer break is a magical gift earned by teachers who have just packed a full year’s worth of work into just 8 months. I don’t know about you, but I’ve made the HUGE mistake of letting many of those summer breaks go to waste. It’s easy to do. First, I’d spend a few weeks cleaning up and closing down my classroom and organizing my teaching things. Then I’d spend a few weeks bumming around on the couch watching all the TV shows I’d missed during the school year. After that would come our family trip. Then I’d spend a few days at trainings and summer PD, and before I knew it, it was time to start gearing up for the new school year. Technically, those summers weren’t wasted, but they also weren’t everything I’d hoped they would be.
Summer break is a teacher’s chance to:
- refuel and recharge
- focus on personal interests
- reconnect with family and friends
- take on all those BIG projects
- travel and explore
This post is about finding ways to do just those things so that at the end of summer break you feel rested, energized, peaceful, and excited about launching a new school year!
Plan Your Summers
I realize that after a school year of planning every moment of the day, planning your summer probably doesn’t sound that great. BUT, with a little bit of forethought, you can be more aware of the time you have available and use it more effectively. (And by effectively, I simply mean using the time to do what you really WANT to do.)
Focus on How You Want to FEEL
Think about how you hope to feel at the end of the summer. What words come to mind? For me, it’s those words I mentioned above: peaceful, energized, rested, and excited about the new school year! By creating a vision of how you hope to feel, you can then craft a summer that will get you to that place!
Emphasize YOUR Needs
I am the type of person that feels the need to be “working” all the time. If I haven’t accomplished many tasks during the day, I feel guilty, as if I was lazy. I’m also the type of person (like most teachers) who tend to put the needs of others before my own. In the summer, I usually spend all my time on making sure my son is having fun and on taking care of things around the house, rather than thinking about what I actually need. Although neither of those things is bad, it does end up leaving me drained (and a little resentful) at the end of the summer. So, give yourself a break! What do YOU need? What do YOU want? What would make YOU happy?
Think about the LITTLE things you might want: going out for coffee, getting a pedicure, shopping without the kids, sleeping in, lunch out with a friend, etc.
And think about the BIG things you might want: a trip to Ireland, scuba diving lessons, to write a novel, to meet the President? (I don’t know, but dream big!)
If you don’t make these things a priority, they’ll never happen, especially if you’re a mom AND a teacher.
Does it sound selfish? Probably. But in my experience, teachers are the most selfless people on the planet, and a little bit of selfishness is well deserved!
So if you’d like a little help in planning out your dream summer, I made a Summer Planner just for teachers. In this free download, you’ll find a few simple brainstorming pages, some tips for organizing and prioritizing your goals and activities, and some ready-to-go summer calendars. Just click to download. (Updated for 2016!)
Good luck and I hope this is your best summer ever!