Teaching is not for the faint of heart. It’s a tough job that requires most of your focus during the school year. And let’s face it, that spills over into the summer, too. While it might be a challenge, it’s important for educators to practice self-care during summer break so the return to school in the fall is a positive experience.
4 Ways to Get Ahead of the Back to School Stress
“Easier said than done,” you might be thinking. Well, we’ve come up with some easy ways for you to unwind this summer and get prepared for the upcoming school year so that you glide into September like an Olympic skater on ice. Read on to learn more.
Give Yourself a Reading Challenge
When was the last time you did this? Probably last summer. We encourage you to browse your local library and bookstores to get those books you’ve been dreaming about. Whether you secretly crave young adult dystopian fiction or can’t wait to get your hands on some nonfiction books about your favorite topic, make it a priority to read for pleasure this summer. Just like you told your students to do.
Reading for pleasure is a great way to inspire yourself. It also sets a great example for other educators and children in your life. Read out loud as a family, or schedule special time with a quiet snack, a drink to sip, and a great new book to read. Read outside when it’s sunny or indoors when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Make it a fun challenge to finish a specific number of books before a set date.
Go on An Adventure
Get out of your comfort zone and get out into the world. Just think about how many ideas you can come up with for your classroom while visiting the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, canoeing a local river or lake, browsing an open-air market in East Africa, or coming face to face with that mountain you always wanted to climb. Whether you travel abroad or keep it local, a new environment and experience is a great way to clear your mind and refresh your perspective.
It’s not about spending money or going somewhere impressive. It’s about giving your mind new spaces and adventures to use as inspiration throughout the coming school year. Students love to see pictures and hear stories. Make this summer a chance to gather new material and try something new.
Get Ahead on Lesson Planning
Commit one or more mornings or afternoons to lesson planning to get ahead for the upcoming school year. Preparation is key when it comes to classroom teaching, and your coveted lesson planning time is never really enough time to get it all done. Just a few hours a week over the summer spent preparing for the upcoming school year will continue to reap rewards until next summer.
This type of lesson planning doesn’t need to feel like work. It might be a time to consider new trends or ideas you’ve seen lately or a chance to branch out and create a new classroom review game or activity. Use this lesson planning time to give yourself a mood boost and a few things to look forward to sharing with your students when back to school season finally arrives.
Prepare the Classroom Space
Preparing the classroom for a new year is exhilarating. The energy in the school is happy, positive, and relaxed after the summer break. During this quiet time, before the kids come back, get your classroom ready with all the supplies and décor you need to make the positive, engaging learning environment that students love. Start a DIY classroom décor project, or get your hands on some new markers for dressing up your anchor charts.
More Teacher Life Ideas & Inspiration
Need some more ideas for making the most of your summer or the back to school season? Check out our Teacher Life category and find the motivation you need to start off the new year on the right foot!