When I went to school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukah and Valentine’s Day were the predominant school holidays. Most teachers had their standard...
Have a GREAT Summer Vacation!
We are smart, hard working, kind, creative and talented. We are the generators of future greatness. We are the salt of the earth, the cherry on top, the cream of the crop. We are teachers! Therefore, as the end of the school year arrives, we get just as excited about summer vacation as our students. We can already almost feel the soft sand between our toes, taste the margarita at pool side, feel the sun on our skin, and smell the flowers blooming. It’s time to clear our mind from the incredible responsibilities that every teacher feels towards their students and profession.
Most of us have had the infamous “teacher” conversation of defending our right to a long summer vacation. We may have said things like, “You can’t imagine the stress of standing in front of 30 teenagers every day trying to motivate them to learn.” Or, “Since I don’t make a million dollars a year with investments, at least I get the perk of an extended vacation.” Etc. etc. But, do most of us really use the entire summer for luxuriating on the French Riviera? And, if we are that lucky to do so, is it the best way to spend our summer?
Definitely take a week or two or three just to catch up with yourself. Veg out, go to the Bahamas, organize your closets, read a good book, enjoy an extended lunch with a long lost friend, whatever it takes to get you to feel that you are truly on vacation. And then, it might be wise to remember that in order to keep positive and motivated for September, this space of time can be used for some teacher inspiration.
Here are a few ideas for extending your summer vacation into the school year:
- Leave your comfort zone and try something new. From snorkeling to knitting, there are endless opportunities to expand your horizons. Not only might you find something that you love or are talented at, but you will also be able to better relate to the struggles that your students go through when they are learning something for the first time.
- Reflect on your previous classroom successes and challenges: Why was that project so stimulating? How can I improve on that boring lesson? When were my students most engaged? How can better camaraderie be established between students and between me and my students? What new innovations would I like to incorporate in my classroom and what do I need to learn to do this?
- Take the time for professional development. Perhaps your school encourages its teachers to take courses by offering ideas and funding. If not, there are plenty of resources on the web. Here is just one that I came across called Fund for Teachers which offers incredibly exciting opportunities for travel and growth.
- Combine leisure with inspiration. Read motivational teaching books and watch some of the Top 10 Inspirational Movies for Educators.
Most of all have a well deserved relaxing and energizing break and please share the best ways that you have spent summer vacation.