Summer is upon us. You made it through another school year and the next several weeks are your reward. Make the most of your down time with these twenty tips to help you compile your summer to do list.
20 Things All Art Teachers Should Do This Summer
Sleep. Sleep in, sleep late, sleep long, sleep in the middle of the day… Not only is sleep restorative, but it also improves your health, mood, and memory, decreases your risk of injury, and even affects your ability to control your weight. So go ahead and get some zzz’s!
Go to the bathroom. Whenever you want. For as long as you want. You might even take a tablet with you and catch up on your favorite blog.
Create. Once you’ve let go of the daily stress of teaching and caught up on your sleep, you’ll probably feel those creative juices stirring. Jump start your “art” by trying a new medium. Expert painter? Take a ceramics class! Whatever you choose, create something just for you.
Develop. Speaking of expanding, take your time reviewing the professional development opportunities in your area and choose one that will make a difference in your everyday teaching practices.
Go outside. During the day! Summer is the time to get outside, feel the sunlight on your face, breathe the fresh air, and enjoy the sounds of children playing (resting comfortably in the knowledge that you are not in charge of them!).
Take a vacation. Getting truly away is the best way to kick start the relaxing, but if you can’t take a vacation, at least try to get away and experience some new things. Shake things up with a day trip to a nearby town or try a restaurant in a neighboring city.
Plan a vacation. Planning a vacation for the winter or spring break or even next summer will give you something to look forward to when the new school year begins. Plus, it’s fun!
Binge watch the best series of the year. Take a Facebook poll and ask your friends for their favorite recommendations. Then close the shutters, pop some popcorn, and park it on the couch for a few hours. Every day.
Stretch. Even a 5-minute daily stretch can increase flexibility, range of motion and joint movement, while decreasing stress. Also, stretching adds an air of respectability to your binge watching (see #8).
Plan. In a comfortable spot with a cool beverage in hand, begin your planning for next year. Using a calendar, journal, laptop, or whatever works best for you, begin by blocking out the holidays (hooray!), then rough out your lessons, take note of art supplies you may need, and get any paperwork or orders you’ll need to submit in order now.
Set a few goals. Summer is about relaxing, but you may have a few things you’d like to accomplish over the next three months, so consider setting a few realistic goals and chipping away at them a week at a time.
Clean out your closets. Cleaning out your closets is a great summer goal and leaves you feeling neat, tidy, and organized when it’s time to head back to school in the fall. Mary Kondo’s method is all the rage these days—lay your hands on each object. If it doesn’t bring you joy, it’s time to toss it.
Liven up those lesson plans. Once you’re rested, relaxed, and organized, pull out those old lesson plans and give them the once over. Some of them may need a make over—visit our post “10 Ways to Revive Tired Lesson Plans” for some great ideas for refreshing your tried-and-true favorites.
Meditate. Meditating each morning is a great way to ensure clarity and purpose in your day and since you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn, you should have plenty of time for a quick session each day. There are several apps designed to walk you through the process. Find one you love and commit to this daily practice.
Exercise. It’s always on your list, but this summer, make sure you do it. Whether it’s a walk around the neighborhood or a sweaty cardio session at the gym, you’ll never be sorry you made time for exercise.
Browse. When you’re ready, drop by your classroom, pull out your art cart, or look through your art files. Taking a trip down memory lane with some of the work your students left behind is a great way to get motivated for the coming school year.
Nap. In the middle of the day. Horizontally. Without having to pretend you’re grading.
Stare out the window. There’s no need to make excuses for day dreaming in the summer. So if you catch yourself staring out the window, don’t stop! Take a deep breath and savor the moment instead.
Find some new inspiration. Take some time to get re-inspired. Visit a new museum, take a class, or follow a new blog. Get back in touch with whatever moves you to create.
Designate a YOU day each week where you do everything you love and nothing you don’t. Literally. Leave the dishes in the sink (dishes, what dishes, you went out for a bagel), forget the housework, and run those errands tomorrow. After all, summer is YOUR time!
More Teacher Life Tips & Ideas
Looking for more tips on how to renew and refresh your spirit during the summer break? Check out the other Teacher Life blogs on our site. We’ve gathered advice and tips from all over to help you be the best educator you can be.