It’s that time of year, teachers everywhere can breathe a massive sigh of relief and enjoy a hard earned rest, right? Schools close for six weeks during the summer so that means that teachers have a pretty easy time of it.
Well, thats the general consensus, but in reality, teachers are still working hard throughout the summer, preparing for the new school year and reflecting on the one that has just passed to make the new one even more successful for their classes and for themselves.
For all you teachers out there, here’s how to get everything you need to get done, done and dusted so you can take some time to relax too. You’ve earned it! Here’s four top tips for balancing your summer workflow and actually taking some time for you!
- Reflect, but don’t ponder too much
The end of term is the perfect time to reflect on everything that went right for you and your class and indeed to take notice of what didn’t. Teaching is all about learning yourself along with your students. Taking note of what works in a learning environment and what doesn’t, will help you to progress in your career and develop your own skills as a teacher.
The summer term ending is the ultimate reflection time as you can piece together all of the terms and be inspired when coming up with ideas for next year.
However, although its a great idea to take some time out to think about your strengths and weaknesses, don’t ponder too much and definitely allow yourself to take a break to enjoy yourself. Acknowledge the good and bad points of the year, keep them in mind, and take that well deserved rest.
2. Don’t overload
The most important part of summer is to give yourself (somewhat) of a break. It is well deserved, needed and you need to recharge ready for the next academic year that will whiz round before you know it.
If you’re looking to teach summer classes during the summer, then great, its a fantastic way to learn more, gain an insight into teaching different age groups or subjects and will cure that dreaded summer holiday boredom (not that there’s much time for all you teachers to be bored anyway!) Sign up and get going!
But remember, don’t overload yourself, you need a break too and whilst teaching summer classes might help you feel productive, the last thing you want is a frazzled brain before you’ve even got back to school in September!
Make sure you balance it and maybe just teach a few days a week, make sure you’re taking time to yourself too. Your mental and physical health will thank you for it.
3. Prepare early
Again, it’s so important to try to switch off, but there’s no doubt that preparing yourself early for the year ahead will leave you in good stead when you wake up on the first day of term.
You then wont have that sinking feeling as you rush around on the first morning back, trying to down a piping hot coffee, as you frantically type up lesson plans and get in some sort of order for the day ahead. Some good advice is to set aside some time at the very start of the holidays to prepare what you can, then a few nights before the first day of term, just go over your notes or ideas to refresh your memory.
The ‘first day back’ you will thank ‘super organised’ past you for doing all the hard work for yourself earlier and you’ll feel much more calm and collected heading into the brand new year. Besides, getting all your preparation done as soon as you can will leave more worry-free time for you to do what you want to do throughout the summer.
4. Limit stress
The summer holidays is no place for stress, so try to limit and sort out any issues you can early on.
If you’re stressed because you don’t have a job or placement for September, then try to do all the job hunting early on so you can sit back and relax knowing you have something secured. Have a search on job sites, here at RealiseMe, we have loads of jobs all around the country still available, so sign up, have a browse and find something perfectly suited for you as an individual.
We’re also running open days for you teachers as well as the chance to be involved with some pretty special research projects, including one with UCL, so if you fancy getting into something fantastic like that or even just knowing more, we can provide you with more information about the project, us and help you find your perfect match in a job. Then you can get back to having some well deserved ‘you’ time.
So ponder, prepare but remember to prioritise YOU, you have earned that break too!