The Ultimate Teacher’s Summer To-Do List

Pep Talks & Positivity

If you’re anything like me, you woke up this morning and realized summer is quickly (serious emphasis on quickly) ticking away. So, with the limited amount of time we have left, I wanted to encourage you to do the following 5 things before the next busy school year starts again!

  1. Catch up on To-Do’s and Appointments– I know that we’re given sick days/personal days for a reason, but I don’t typically use them on just anything. I don’t want to give up my paid time to get a cavity filled if I don’t have to. Plus, the preparation factor and then catch-up after a substitute is quite overwhelming to me. I recommend trying (when possible) to schedule appointments and other not-super-fun-to-do items for the summer. That way, you can leave the appointment thinking “okay, now I have the whole rest of the day to do what I want!” instead of “I wonder if my kids could find the activity in their workbook….what if there was a disaster… what if this student needed me??”
  2. Clean/Organize your Classroom and Digital Accounts– I tend to pile up papers nearly as bad as I allow emails to pile up. Until summer hits, I rarely hit delete on an email. (Trust me, I’m very organized in other ways, but this simply isn’t my strong suit.) I love taking summer to create a blank slate for the next year. In fact, one of my favorite aspects of teaching (besides the awesome kids) is that there’s closure from one “assignment” to the next. Do yourself a favor and don’t start the new year with a full inbox of outdated emails about last year’s faculty meetings.
  3. Professional Development– Because many of us are slammed during the school year outside of our teaching day (coaching, sponsoring clubs, grad school, grading, planning, parent teacher conferences, IEP meetings, etc etc etc) going to a professional development from 4-6 pm often becomes less of an enrichment and more of a burden, regardless of how empowering the information being delivered is. I love completing as much of my required professional development during the summer as I can so that I can actually enjoy it, with a fresh mind. This summer, for example, I am attending workshops on technology in the classroom, youth mental health, and responsive classroom.
  4. Make Goals for Next Year– Take time this summer to reflect on what you did well last year and what you want to change for this next year. Was it how you managed your class? How was that project-based learning assignment? How could you smoothly integrate technology better next year? How can you be sure to challenge your high-achievers better next year? How can you differentiate re-teaching to students who may struggle on that math concept? You can also make personal goals about stress, time you spend grading, reaching out to parents, etc. Write your goals down so you remember them. 🙂
  5. Relax– This is most important of all! Be sure to give yourself time to sleep in, travel, catch up on that good book, and even binge watch some TV shows. Don’t feel guilty for not having a list everyday. It’s healthy to take some time for ourselves, and it prepares our hearts to be more patient, loving, and enthusiastic towards our next crew that will be arriving this upcoming school year.

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