Happy summer! After a particularly challenging year-and-a-half, it’s important to take time to rest and recharge over summer vacation. Luckily there are many resources and lists of ideas to help you destress. There are some teachers, however, that may want to focus on personal growth or stay up-to-date on the latest trends in education.
Here are seven summer activities for teachers:
1. Dive into your hobbies
While teaching may consume much of your time during the school year, you are so much more than your job. Maybe you’re a master painter or you’ve been hoping to learn how to sew or cook. Summer vacation offers plenty of time to immerse yourself in your hobbies or learn a new skill! (Plus, if your hobby involves creating a final product, you might consider selling your creations online or in a local market.)
2. Participate in summer learning or professional development
Summer break is a great time to focus on your personal education and professional development (PD) in your teaching career. You can find many free, online resources for professional learning or take a course at your local community college––which schools and districts often offer grants for. Some schools even provide free PD resources through your district or the edtech resources your school uses, including SEL curriculums, learning management systems, and educational software programs.
3. Travel for conventions or speaking events
The CDC has determined that it is generally safe for vaccinated people to travel domestically if they wear masks and physically distance while traveling. Additionally, many conventions and COVID-safe gatherings are reemerging this summer in-person, as many states have lifted their restrictions on organized events. If speaking and networking are things that you’re passionate about, this summer is a great time to begin attending these events once again.
4. Volunteer your time or abilities
Volunteering your time with service organizations is always a great summer activity for teachers, as it allows you to connect with your community outside of your school. As an educator, you have a specific set of skills that makes you qualified to volunteer in certain settings, such as adult literacy programs, GED tutoring and programs, technology tutoring for businesses, or free or low-cost tutoring programs. If you have the time and passion, you might consider offering your time to one of these organizations to support your community this summer.
5. Teach in a different setting
Many teachers continue teaching in a different setting during the summer, such as summer school, online, community colleges, or tutoring. Acquiring one of these positions is a helpful way for educators to make extra money during the summer break. Some teachers work with summer camps, especially those who have a passion for specific subjects outside of their full-time job, such as coding, woodworking, art, ecology, and more.
6. Read for enjoyment
During the school year, you may find yourself reading so much for your job that you can hardly ever find a moment to read for enjoyment. Summer break is the perfect time to put aside your work reading and pick up a book on your ever-growing reading list for enjoyment. This is a great way to fill some of your well-deserved rest time with engaging content that doesn’t come from a screen (unless you use an e-reader).
7. Catch up on personal and health tasks
As dull as it might sound, summer break is the ideal time to schedule all of the personal and health appointments you’ve been putting off during the school year. Your physical and mental health is important, so if you’ve been thinking about how you need to get back in therapy or get a new glasses prescription, summer break is the time to do so. And you'll feel better once it's done!
When considering these activities, remember: you don't always need to be productive. Time spent relaxing is not time wasted. As an educator, you have worked harder than ever during the pandemic to ensure your students’ success, your family's survival, and your own wellbeing, and now it’s your time to take some rest. Happy summer!