A Teacher's Guide to Summer

School’s Out!...Now what?
For the last nine months you have been in non-stop work mode. You’ve gone to an endless amount of meetings. You’ve tied shoes. You’ve graded papers...stacks and stacks of papers. You’ve been a parent. You've eaten your lunch in 12 minutes or less each day. You've been appointed to a number of committees (some better than others). Needless to say you’ve worn a lot of hats in the last nine months. The good news is, your break is finally here: summer. You can kick back and take off a few of those hats even if it’s just for a few months.

These are the few months out of the year when teachers can kick back and relax even if it is just a little bit. While we all know there are professional development days, lessons to work on or revamp, and classrooms to redecorate, we don’t have to do that right now. It’s summer and you deserve to relax, and enjoy life hitting the brakes. In order to have a successful relaxing summer, there are some things you are going to need. Here is a list of essentials every teacher needs to have the best summer ever.
1.       Water! There’s nothing better than sitting on the lake, at the beach, or simply at the pool. You can enjoy relaxing and soaking in some much needed vitamin D, going for a dip, or dropping a line and going fishing. Not only can you enjoy spending time on the water, you can also drink as much water as you want knowing full well that you can go to the bathroom whenever you have to go! I know, take a moment and let that soak in.

2.       Fun! Whatever is fun for you: do that. It’s incredibly important to recharge your batteries during these “free” weeks. So often our needs or wants get put on the back burner during the school year. We sacrifice sleep, exercise, and often our sanity. This is why having fun is so important. Everyone, not just teachers, need to remember to take moments to enjoy life.

3.       Friends! School can really take a toll on your social life. When you are constantly working, it’s hard to find time to be with our friends or sometimes even our family. Summer is the perfect time to catch up and reconnect with people you have lost touch with over the school year. Even though teacher friends are vital, it’s important to have friends outside of school to help you separate from school yourself.

4.       Me time! Your whole school year revolves around 25 or so tiny humans. You care about not only their learning but their well-being. Much of your time is spent working on one thing or another for your students so it’s important to find some time for just you during the school year. Do something to “pamper” yourself. This can be golfing, spending time with your significant other, going to a salon for a haircut, or spending some time with a friend you haven’t seen for a while. You have to make time for you!

5.       Laughter! After nine months of some trials (but hopefully more successes!) it is important to let loose and have fun. Laughter really is the best medicine when it comes to many different aspects of life. If we don’t take life too seriously and allow ourselves to laugh, we become infinitely less stressed and we get to enjoy life. The best part about laughter is you can put it with any of the activities above. When you’re by the water you can splash around with your kids and listen to them giggle, when you are having fun you can laugh at things past or things present. Friends you spend time with will share fun stories about their jobs and lives and you can laugh with them as well. Finally, when it’s just a day for you, you can find some time to do something that makes you smile and laugh.

Much like Christmas, summer only comes once a year. It’s a time where we should have fun and kick back. There’s so many enjoyable things to do in the summer and you need to make sure you fit in as many as possible because you have to go back to school fully recharged. You’re only a great teacher if you take care of you, and summer is the perfect time to do that. So, don't feel bad for taking some time for yourself this summer! Enjoy each moment, and relish in the fact that you don't have an endless stack of papers to grade staring back at you!

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