Congratulations Teach! You made it through another school year. In the video below, teacher Meghan gives 5 tips for teachers to maximize their summer break so they can return to school rested, refreshed, and ready for the next school year. I’ve summarized them below and added a few of my own ideas. I highly recommend you watch the video to get the most out of these tips and to learn about some free resources.
You deserve a break, so take one. The rest of the tips are productive and geared toward setting you up for success in the next school year, but please take some time to rest your mind and your body. That will look different for everyone. You might need to really move your body to rest your mind by taking a hike. You may also need to activate your mind in order to rest your body by reading a thrilling mystery book in the bath. However you rest and relax is up to you, but please take some time to do the things that bring you joy.
This is the time to look into that software you heard other teachers talking about. Maybe you are interested in learning more about incorporating SEL (Social Emotional Learning) into your lesson plans or a different approach to classroom management. Summer break is a great time to find a 2-day workshop or online conference. It doesn’t have to be too intensive, but it is a great time to broaden your teacher toolkit.
For me, this is the most important thing I can do to make my life easier in the fall. Let’s be real, once school gets going, things can get a little chaotic. I need to be able to quickly grab that resource and have it ready to go in about 30 seconds. If I spend the time now to get things organized, both physically and digitally, I’ll be much more efficient and relaxed during the school year.
Along with organizing, taking the time to convert your physical resources to digital will be a huge time saver. There are so many benefits to having digital copies of everything, and this is coming from a person with more physical books than I could ever read in my lifetime. I prefer physical books to any e-reader and love collecting books of all kinds. But even I recognize the value of digitizing resources. First, if a student is absent, you can send them the learning material so they don’t fall behind. Also, you can edit the material much easier if it is in a digital format. Not to mention, the ease of finding what you’re looking for. Sometimes I wish my life had a search bar.
Plan the First Week
The first week of the school year will set the tone for the rest of the school. Try planning activities that build relationships while also establishing boundaries and expectations. Building a foundation is the most important step in building a house, similarly, the first week’s activities will drive the rest of the school year. Take the time to decide what sort of classroom environment you want to create, then plan your first week in a way that will foster that goal. Doing this before your teacher’s workdays will allow you to spend those days focused on the physical classroom and building the curriculum.
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