K-12 Educator Summer Acclimation
By Kandi Grimes
Yay! It is summer break! Teachers can finally go on that vacation (or staycation), right? Well, for many educators it is also time for work. Unfortunately, those lesson plans aren’t going to write themselves. In addition to preparing for the fall, teachers may be required to attend virtual professional development sessions. Before these duties start knocking at your door take some time for self-reflection and determine what went right and what went wrong during the past school year. This can serve as a valuable tool for any teacher. The Educator’s Summer Self-reflection Tool from Concordia University-Portland can help get you started.
Now, let’s jump into summer! Summer can be a time to reset your body and mind. When the students have gone and the classroom has been cleared out, your mind may still be racing as if you had multiple tasks to accomplish and little time to do them.
Below are some suggestions for stepping into summer:
1. Begin your day with a new summer ritual
What would make you feel calm and reflective on your summer morning? Create a new morning ritual that is more relaxed and less hectic than your school mornings. Perhaps having coffee on your porch or balcony or beginning your day with yoga? You can even enter meditation into your morning mix. There is a multitude of relaxation apps to guide you. Practicing self-care is a great way to start your summer.
2. Vacation or Staycation, you can finally read that book!
Have you longed to lounge on your sofa or sit in your cozy chair and finally read that book? Summer can be a great time to do just that. Read free on sites like Google Books or the Library of Congress. What a deal!
3. Not everyone has time for spring cleaning, so do a summer clean instead!
If you have not had time to tackle that pesky closet or even just clean your living space as much as you would have liked, take some time, crank up your favorite playlist, and clean away!
4. Set aside time for lesson planning
We know that it is better to have a work-life balance. This applies to the summer as well. Making a schedule of times that you will devote to schoolwork will indeed be helpful. You can work around any planned summer activities and not feel rushed pre-fall. Stick to the plan; it will be worth it.
5. Reconnect with friends and family
If you had occasions during the school year where you were just too tired to socialize with friends and family, summer is a great time to catch up. Studies have shown that satisfying relationships and social connections can have a positive impact on our well-being. To this end, video and audio-conferencing software or video chat apps are a great way to connect to others.
6. Indulge your interests
Now that the school year is over, and you do not have those pressing time constraints, do what you love. Get back to your hobbies, try those new exercises, begin writing that novel; summer offers you that longed-for time.
7. Get outside
There are activities that you can do close to home. Work in your garden, take a bike ride around the block, sit on your porch, and listen to the birds. Getting fresh air and enjoying the music of nature can make us feel happier and healthier. Who doesn’t want that?
Whether you try new activities this summer or prefer the familiar, taking the time to rejuvenate yourself can help you to become more relaxed, happier, and in a good state-of-mind for another meaningful school year.
For a comprehensive list of fun and educational resources, check out our page here!