Another school year is almost complete and while many teachers and students alike are dreaming of sandy beaches, crisp water and languid days, others are thinking ahead to next year. Summer conferences, collaborating meetings with colleagues, and learning new skills are on my summer to-do list. Normally this isn't the case, but this summer I'll have down time to spare. Whatever your summer plans, take time off, to refresh, read, renew, and ready yourself for the upcoming year.
Most teachers pour themselves into their work, taking work home, thinking about students and their learning or how to more effectively engage learners; they think about this stuff a lot. Teaching,a mentally challenging job, can also be physically exhausting dealing with kids all day. That's why it's so important for the recharge that comes from the summer.
At one point I taught summer school, but for me, those days are over. I realized I needed to take a break from school and do other stuff--like ride my bike, visit friends, explore the countryside, travel and take road trips. This is how I get ready for the next school year. I goof off. Whatever I do, I do with gusto, or so I've been told. I embrace the summer and use it to refresh my attitude. What's even more important, is that we need to do this without guilt. If a voice whispers to you that you really should be reading the latest Penny Kittle or Kelly Gallagher book rather than escaping with a copy of Debbie Macomber whatever, ignore the voice and plunge yourself head first into Macomber fluff.
Life is too short to be immersed in nothing but work. So go ahead, goof off, take a road trip, explore the countryside...it could make all the difference.