Educators need to take time for themselves over the summer, to focus on personal aspects of their lives that may have been pushed to the side or neglected during the course of the busy school year. Prioritizing our hobbies, families, and joys fills a place in our hearts, eliminates feelings of burnout, and otherwise makes us better teachers.
This post about summer rejuvenation for teachers is the fifth in a series of light-hearted, inspirational collaborative posts. You can start at Part One and read from the beginning, or you can join us right here.
What do you do over the summer to escape the increasing pressures of the teaching profession, rejuvenate your soul, and feel refreshed for the next academic year? I posed this question to a collaboration of hardworking teachers, and they graciously agreed to share ideas for unwinding and reclaiming their untended identities in the summer months.
INSIDERS’ TIPS FOR SUMMER REJUVENATION
Work with Animals
I foster orphaned kittens. Since I’m not working, I have time to bottle feed them and it’s a need in my community. I love the tender feeling of holding them as they nurse on the bottle and watching their ears wiggle as they drink down the formula. When they are big enough, they go off to new homes and I get a new group. These kittens are too small to survive in the shelter and fostering saves lives. ~ Laugh & Learn with Lindsay
Love on My Kids
I snuggle my own kids and read with them. One reason I love to teach is to experience the growth my students see. I want to have those same experiences with my own children. ~ Lauralee from Language Arts Classroom
Appreciate the World
In the summer I take time to appreciate the world…cooking the fantastic fresh vegetables and fruits and stretching my “chef” wings, hiking and long-days at the beach, enjoying the outdoors and lots of time with my family.~ Doc from Education with DocRunning
Vacation with Family
Time away with my family is so important! We live in New Hampshire, but spend a lot of time in York Beach, Maine during the summer because it is so peaceful and beautiful. We enjoy being together without the pressure of a schedule and commitments. There’s nothing like the ocean waves to bring peace to the soul! ~ Amanda from Free to Discover
Get My Exercise On
I exercise every morning. I love yoga and enjoy being able to take classes during the summer (that I don’t have time for during the school year). My husband recently got into biking, so we started doing that as well. We also take several vacations. This year, we’re going to the beach and New York City. ~ Doc Cop
Fill up with Vitamin D
One of my favorite ways to relax is just to get some sun–there’s something about the sun on my skin, and maybe even the vitamin D, that just makes me feel better. Bonus points if I’m laying out by the pool and can swim as well, or if I’m on a beach. Also, I love getting some personal reading in as well. ~ Whitney LaDon from The Poetry That Is Life
Stretch Out and Strengthen Up
I can’t wait to get back to my yoga classes this summer! It improves my mental and physical health, and this summer I hope to try out a “Yoga on the Beach” class. ~ Kim@OCBeachTeacher
Sleep in and Avoid the News
I typically do more exercise classes such as yoga and just SLOW DOWN in general. I LOVE turning OFF the alarm clock and allowing my internal clock to guide the way. UNPLUGGING from social media as much as I can helps me to relax, and I also try NOT TO WATCH the news. We usually take a longer vacation during the summer, and this year we are headed to Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, & Sweden). ~ Meredith from Bespoke ELA
I am a crafter at heart, so I have been working on some fun projects with my Silhouette Cameo. Most of those projects so far have been classroom related, but I’m still getting into summer mode. ~ Olivia from Distinguished English
Go Outside and Reflect
Get outside and into nature! And quiet. I find quiet moments to journal, reflect, or just be still. ~ Leslie from Story Trekker
Unplug and Explore
I unplug and explore nature with my kids. Otherwise, I can’t help but reach for my phone or computer just to quickly check email, Pinterest, my blog, and etcetera. ~ Amanda from Engaging and Effective
Read and Travel
I read romance novels, travel, and enjoy the sunshine. ~ Rebecca Gettelman
Ride my Bike and Have Quiet Time
During the school year, I do my best to exercise, but it’s hard. My workouts are short so that I have time to get home, make supper, and spend some time with my family before bed. Over the summer months, I can squeeze in longer routines, like a two-hour bike ride with my hubby, or I can train for a race. When I’m teaching, I don’t want to spend my Saturday mornings getting up early to run with a bunch of strangers, but during the summer, I enjoy it. There’s just something about exercise that reframes my view of life. The summer months also give me the opportunity to wake up early when the house is quiet and be still. I do my devotionals, I blog, I drink coffee in peace, and I enjoy the morning’s first sun rays as they peacefully creep through the windows. When the pitter patter of children’s feet emanate from the stairs, I’m mentally prepared to face the day. ~ Melissa from Reading & Writing Haven
Can you tell we have some summer rejuvenation themes? Family time, nature, exercise, and travel. Do you have any unique hobbies you enjoy over the summer? Is there anything you love doing during your time off? Tell us about how you refill YOUR soul and get into a happy, stress-free place during your non-teaching months. Leave your thoughts in the comments; we’d love to hear from you!
This post is the fifth in an inspirational collaborative series for teachers. The entire series includes:
- In Defense of Teachers: Do We Really Have Our Summers Off?
- Top 10 List: The Craziest Thing Happened in the Classroom Today…
- Our Favorite Decor for the Secondary Classroom
- Must-Try Organizational Tools and Classroom Procedures
- How to Rejuvenate Over the Summer
- Our Summer Reading Lists
- Creating Literacy-Rich Environments all Summer Long
- Be Inspired: Favorite Quotes for Teachers