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5 Reasons to Plan for a Summer Vacation

Janelle Cox

Most teachers look forward to summer vacation all year long. Those few weeks off each summer are a chance to let loose and relax.

During this time, teachers can go on vacation, catch up with their friends, and take some well-deserved time off to do as they please.

However, most teachers end up taking a second job, attend professional development courses, or start lesson planning for the upcoming year. By the time they return to work in the fall, they don’t even feel relaxed or rejuvenated.

That is why it is essential to start planning for your summer vacation today. It’s fine to use some of the time to plan ahead for your classroom, continue your education, or private tutor a few days a week. But at some point in the summer, it’s important to take a “Real” break, one where you will actually feel re-energized afterwards.

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Still don’t think it’s important to plan for your summer break? Here are five more reasons why you should start planning today.

1. Teaching is Exhausting

Teaching can be very rewarding, but it also can be very exhausting. And while it can give you a sense of accomplishment, it can also give you a sense of stress. As you know, teachers work more than just six hours a day and 180 days a year. There are the times that you come into school early and stay late. Then there is when you are up late nights planning for the next lesson or grading papers. There are the school dances and football games, before- and after-school meetings, and conferences. Let’s face it, you’ve earned a vacation. You can either spend your summer planning and working, or you can be somewhere relaxing sipping on a cocktail.

2. You’ll Have Something to Look Forward To

There is nothing better than thinking about a warm summer night during the big chill of winter. The earlier you book your vacation, the longer you have to look forward to going. The winter months are dreaded by many, so curl up by your cozy fireplace and read some travel magazines. It’s better to have something to look forward to, to help you get through the school year.

3. Happy Teachers Make Nicer Teachers

When you are happy, then so are your students. If you are dreading each day that you go to work during the school year, then your students will take note. Think of a place that makes you happy and plan to go there. If you are worried that you can’t afford it, then think of it this way. Let’s say that there is a place that you want to go at the end of August, and it costs about $1,000 to rent for the week. If you put aside about $50 a week now, then you can afford it. Or, if you start saving in the beginning of the school year, you will only have to put aside about $10-$20 dollars a week. That little bit of money is definitely worth your happiness all year long.

4. Retirement Isn’t All That it’s Cracked Up to Be

Many teachers think “When I retire I’m going to travel the world, so I don’t need to take a vacation now.” While that may be what you anticipate happening, but you may not have the energy to do that. Think about it: When you retire from teaching, you will most likely be in your mid- to late-60s. You will probably have grandchildren and want to spend your time with them. You will also most likely not have that spirited body that you have now. All of those dreams of surfing on the beach in Hawaii are not something a typical 60-something is going to do. That’s why it’s important for you to plan your summer vacation now. Like the saying goes, “You Only Live Once” (or as the kids say, “YOLO”).

5. Do it for Your Yourself and Your Family

Life is about making memories. A summer filled with work and online courses is a not a summer that you will want to remember. Spend time with your family now and make memories that will last a lifetime. You do not want to look back at your summer vacation and say, “Wow, I had so much fun tutoring children and taking professional development courses.” You want to look back at your summer and say “Wow, I had so much fun spending time with my family that I feel relaxed and ready to go back to work.”

Have you made time for a summer vacation? If so, what are your plans? Please share your thoughts and plans in the comment section below. We would love to hear what you have to say.

Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.