Every summer, some teachers start feeling guilty during their relaxation time. Shouldn’t they be planning lessons or studying that new trend to get ready for next year? On the flip side, if they find themselves working too hard over the summer, they get mad at themselves for not taking a break.
There are ways to do both. Here are some ideas.
Balance your reading
Some teachers are only able to read school work during the year, so they take the summer to read all of the books they’ve been putting off. What if you could do both?
We know “education” books aren’t the typical beach-read fare, but branch outside of the education section and you can find biographies, books on economics and social issues, and plenty of other works that might not be about “education”, but have implications on what goes on in school. And they’re probably a more interesting read.
Attend summer meetings without leaving the house
Veteran teachers sometimes feel obligated to attend candidate interviews, scheduling, or budget meetings over the summer. If you’re a department head, it’s what you signed up for. But see if there is a way to videoconference the meeting or have it over social media. That way people won’t be able to see that you’re by the pool.
If you don’t have those kinds of obligations, but still think you should attend some “optional” inservices or conferences, take a look into the social networks built for teachers like the #edchat hashtag on Twitter. You can learn things from colleagues without leaving home.
Find out when administration is taking their break
Your school’s administration tends to stay a couple of weeks after the school year is over and comes back a few weeks earlier than you. Find out when those dates are.
That serves two purposes: first, you’ll know they will be just as interested in relaxing as you are, meaning official business will be postponed. But second, you’ll know nothing PD related will be offered during that time. You’re truly free to do as you wish.
With a little fortitude and creativity, there is definitely a way to balance your responsibilities as a full-time educator with your need to unplug over the summer.