Teachers look forward to summer break almost as much – if not more than – their students. Summer is a great time for relaxation, catching up on projects, and spending time with your family. Summertime can also be a great time to get ready for your next school year.
Extend Your Professional Learning
Nothing would please your principal or parents more than you announcing you’re taking a summer professional development course. But keeping people happy is far from the only reason you should consider taking some summer classes. Whether you are a teacher in a public or private school or a home school teacher, expanding your skills and knowledge can really help you improve your skills this next academic year. Don’t just take a class for the sake of taking a class though. Take some time to reflect on your past year and identify something you struggled with. Many districts and home school organizations offer summer classes so you can target that weak area and improve your performance in the year to come.
Plan Something New
Summer is a great time to plan something new for your students in the fall. Before you trot out the same lessons as last year, pick one unit, lesson, or topic that interests you or that you think your students could get more out of. Use summer time to investigate new ways of teaching that lesson, new materials, or new goals. There’s no pressure in summer to have the lesson done by a certain date and no students or administration to distract you. This stress-free environment gives you plenty of time to think, be creative, and really dig into a new potential lesson plan without all the stress of the school year.
Give Your Room an Overhaul
Particularly if you’ve been in the same classroom for several years, you’ve probably accumulated a lot of items in that closet and those file drawers. Go through and give your room a thorough cleaning. Keep relevant paperwork and weed out those old lesson plans. Organize the closet and unearth bulletin board materials you’ve forgotten you owned. Take the time to get rid of those M&M projects that got put in a pile from three years ago. For homeschoolers, this is a great time to organize your student information and your child’s past work. This cleaning tradition can help keep your room and space neat and organized, and optimize your teaching so you don’t have to dig through ten years of old papers to find what you need.
Don’t Forget to Recharge
Remember that summer needs to be your time too. Don’t forget to spend time resting, recharging, vacationing, and spending time with family. Your students will appreciate a rested and energetic teacher in the fall and not one that drags into the classroom as tired as when they left. Keeping a balance of professional improvement and rest time is as important to starting the year right.