Aw summer… It’s that time where teachers get a break for their students, but they now have to put up with their own children for 2 months straight non-stop (I love my children dearly, but school is nice especially when you work from home most of the time.) Many think that this is a time of vacation, and those on the outside world think that this is a time that makes teachers' jobs super easy. In reality, it’s that time of year where you actually get to work on yourself, and we really need to embrace that.
Working on yourself could mean a load of things, and it absolutely includes taking some time off and that much needed rest. The school year is VERY long, and most people don’t understand that it simply does not stop with the school day because during that day you don’t have nearly enough time to accomplish things like grading and planning lessons. Those are part of the job too, so you are usually taking those things into your evenings, on the weekends, or on holidays (I remember grading essays in the back of my father in law's car during Christmas). All of that being said, it means when you get to summer you can just use some of those days as comp time! Think of all those extra times and days as the times you get to take off in the summer, but in reality it still won’t add up.
Summer can also be a great time to learn. It’s a great time to read, and it’s also a great time to participate in professional development. I am not talking about the district oriented required kind though. What I am talking about is times that allow you to pull away with teachers of like minded perspective that can really set you up well for the next school year. Think of it like summer camp for teachers and you will have a blast. I know for me, I run a couple of these sessions around computer science concepts. They are virtual this year, but I can’t wait to take them back live.
Summer is also a time for you to get ahead for the next school year. You can really get a jump start on planning and plan some incredible creative activities if you just start a little early. Is this working on yourself? I sure think so because it gives you a sense of calm for the next school year and you can go in knowing you have a month or two head start on what you are going to do. It gives you more time to focus on your students in the fall which will always make you feel good about yourself.
Are all of these ideas fun? Not necessarily, but that really working on and building yourself up not only in the immediate but also for the future school year will help you prevent that burnout that everyone is experiencing now!