By Teachers, For Teachers
For some teachers, summer break is for fun in the sun with family, while for others, summer break means supplementing their income and taking online master’s classes. Summer break for teachers is a time to recharge, and if by recharging that means taking on another job or sitting by the pool relaxing, it’s a time to shake off the things that didn’t go well during the year, and reminisce about the things that did go well. Whether you’re hitting the beach or the books, you’ll need to find time to unwind and relax. Here are a few things that teachers shouldn’t be doing this summer.
Did you have a student who you just couldn’t seem to get through, or a time when your lesson just didn’t work with your students? While it’s wise to reflect upon what went right and what went wrong during the school year, it’s not a good idea to spend your summer vacation obsessing about everything that went wrong. Take time to reflect, but don’t let it become obsessive and take over your summer. Try and make peace with what didn’t work out and leave that behind, because it’s not going to do you any good to keep thinking about it now. Take the summer months to unwind and relax with your family and leave your bad thoughts behind.
Teachers spend a lot of sleepiness nights thinking about the students who are having trouble in school or at home. It’s part of their job to build relationships with their students, so when there is something going wrong in their lives, they worry. Teachers get concerned when a student has personal issues going on, because that usually means that it’s affecting them academically. However, you shouldn’t take this with you over summer vacation. Do not worry about students who you have had in class, because most likely, there’s nothing that you can do about it now. Just know that you’ve done all that you could for them while they were in the classroom, and rest assured that they took your advice and they’ll be OK.
Many teachers take the summer months to supplement their income by tutoring students. While this is OK to do every once in a while if you need to, try not to spend your whole summer doing what you do all year long. If you really need to supplement your income, try doing something that you absolutely love, like teaching a painting class or a yoga class. The summer should be spent unwinding and doing something special for yourself. So if you really need the extra cash, try and find a way to make it by doing something that you’re passionate about.
Think about all of the times during the school year that you spent telling your children that you’ll do something with them later. Summertime is the time to say “Yes” to your children, not “Maybe later.” Don’t ignore your children for the sake of doing something else, like cleaning out your car or garage. Take this time to really spend some quality time with them. You’ll never regret spending quality time with your children.
Most teachers spend the majority of their time off thinking about and getting ready for the following school year. They use the summer months to plan lessons and activities, buy school supplies, and think about classroom management plans. While a little preplanning can help save you time in the long run, spending your whole summer thinking about the next school year can’t be good for your mental health. Summer is the time to catch up with friends, spend time with family, and do something nice for yourself. Don’t spend the whole summer thinking about the fall school year, just spend a few days or a week or two tops.
Teachers shouldn’t be spending all day long on social media. As you know, social media has been linked to depression. Studies have found the more time you spend on social media sites the more likely that you’ll be depressed. Psychologists suggest that you should find a balance. In the summer when you don’t have a schedule to follow, and you can do as you please all day long, many of you may find that it’s easy to go from spending ten minutes on social media to two hours. People get wrapped in and find themselves spending too much time on social media sites when they can be enjoying the outdoors.
The summertime is your time to relax. Take that time to do what you love. Too many teachers get burned out and end up leaving the profession. If you don’t want that to be you, then you must take this summer to unwind.
How do you spend your summer break? Please share with us in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you.
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 Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.