A common misconception about educators is that they do not work during the summer. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. While you may not have a classroom to manage on a day-to-day basis, there are still plenty of things you can do as an educator to have a productive summer, including participating in professional development activities, reviewing curriculum and giving your classroom a facelift. Here are some of the most popular summer activities for teachers.
Become familiar with new teaching material
If you have been teaching for a while, you have likely developed a few “tried-and-true” classroom tools that you use over and over. One of the best summer activities for teachers is spending time to improve your curriculum and develop new lessons. Try to look at your lesson plans with a fresh eye to determine whether you need to revise or eliminate ones that are boring or outdated. Get rid of anything that you did not use last year.
This is also a good time to find inspiration for new lessons. You could set a goal to expand your collection of classroom books by browsing some of the new children’s books that have been published over the last few years, particularly ones that have won awards for literary excellence, such as Newbery and Caldecott award winners. Visit education websites and teacher blogs and look through your social media feeds for resources.
Cultivate professional development
The summer is a great way to participate in professional development activities. Take a class or a webinar, or reach out to other teachers to foster connections that can help you in the future to brainstorm ideas or troubleshoot problem. If you are looking for a smaller time commitment, Scholastic.com has a variety of professional resources that you may want to review.
Make over your classroom
It can be difficult during the year to find the time to organize your classroom. One of the most effective summer activities for teachers is to make your classroom more organized and more conducive to innovative, high-quality teaching. Just as you look at magazines and home décor websites when renovating your home, look at blogs and websites of other teachers’ classrooms for tips and inspiration for your own classroom makeover.
It may sound counterintuitive, but one of the best summer activities for teachers is simply to relax. You will need to feel rested and energetic for the start of the school year, so make sure you take a break to refresh your mind. Whether you take a trip or stay home, take a few days where you do not think about work at all.
You can also use this time to reconnect with family and friends. Schedule a coffee date or lunch with a friend you have not seen in a while, or take your family on a vacation. Resting and reconnecting with loved ones can give you the energy and peace you need to start another hectic school year.
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