Back-to-school is right around the corner, and if you have been spending your summer catching up on all of the things you put off last school year, it’s time for a break. Finish up what is necessary, and enjoy these last weeks of summer before school stars up again!
Here are some ways to maximize the rest of your summer break to help you return rested. Plus, some tips to get your mind rejuvenated going into those first few weeks of school:
1. These last weeks of summer: Relax…..or Play
- Book a last minute trip somewhere. Enjoy a weekend getaway to a city you’ve never been to, take road trip, or plan a stay-cation to explore your city
- Treat yourself to a great meal, enjoy a day at the spa, or try a new yoga class
- Spend a day poolside with friends or by yourself
- Visit your favorite museum
- Take your kids to an amusement park, go camping or bike riding
- Go shopping for just what makes you happy
- Volunteer for a cause that makes you feel good
- Spend a day binge watching movies
- Explore free concerts and festivals in your area
- Stay up late and sleep in
2. Right Before School Starts: Reflect and Evaluate
During the last weeks of summer it is important to get your mind ready to go back-to-school. However, you don’t have to stress about getting prepared. Take it day-by-day and follow these tips by Special Education Coach Elizabeth Stein from her article Three Things You Can Do This Summer to Be a Better Teacher in the Fall:
- Practice Mindfulness Everyday. Be more aware and accepting of circumstances and surroundings happening around you in every day life to better deal with stress and control your emotions in the classroom.
- Read, Reflect and Plan. Find a book that you actually enjoy, that can double for pleasure and professional reading purposes. Reflect on it’s content and try to create a list of ideas that can elevate your instruction plans for the year.
- Connect, Collaborate, Listen and Share. Spend a few days researching new technology-based tools and then link up with other instructors over lunch before the new school year. Share ideas and techniques with them and discover what they have learned, instead of doing it all on your own.
3. Those First Few Weeks: Don’t Burn Yourself Out
And finally, when the school year begins it is important to keep yourself in a positive head-space. Spend equal time doing things for school and things that make you happy to prevent getting burnt out. Wendi Pillars has written a piece for Edweek.org titled, Six Signs of – and Solutions for – Teacher Burnout. Burnout signs include:
- Feeling overwhelmed
Wendi says when you are feeling any of these symptoms, it is important to practice these lessons:
- Let go
- Find balance
- Be selfish sometimes
- Embrace gratitude
- Accept healing
Allow yourself to become stronger, more determined and focused by practicing Wendi’s steps to prevent burn out, in life and in the classroom. Remember, these lessons in those first few weeks of school when it seems like you are constantly on the go and don’t have time for yourself anymore. Even though you are so used to doing things for others, it is okay to take time for yourself and do the things you love, as well as teaching.
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