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MAKE THE MOST OF SUMMER: IDEAS FOR TEACHERS by RON MILLER





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MAKE THE MOST OF SUMMER: IDEAS FOR TEACHERS by
Article Posted: 03/06/2016
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MAKE THE MOST OF SUMMER: IDEAS FOR TEACHERS


 
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It’s hard to believe, but the summer is halfway over, and unless you teach year-round, the summer break is the largest block of time all year that you have to yourself. If you’re like most teachers, you approach summer with anticipation, planning activities and excursions that you might not have time for from September to June.

Take a few moments today to reflect on your summer thus far, and use that information to ensure that you spend the next several weeks following through with your plans – so you return to the classroom this fall refreshed and invigorated!

Check in with your goals. When I say, “goals” I’m not talking about lesson plans or intricate mission statements. I’m simply referring to what it is that you envisioned you’d be doing during your summer break. It may involve tutoring, taking a vacation, taking part in some sort of professional development, working at a summer job, or just relaxing. It doesn’t really matter if your goals are professional or personal – or a combination of the two. What is important is to have an idea of what you’d like to get out of the summer in order to feel that you’re ready to return to the classroom in a few short weeks.

Revise and Edit. Based on your self-assessment, how close is your original vision for summer vacation matching up with what has transpired actually? If you’re aligned with what you desired, then you have a good chance of feeling accomplished, relaxed, and/or satisfied that you’ve had the opportunity to do what you wanted or planned. If, on the other hand, you find summer slipping away without any follow-through, it’s time to make some adjustments.

For instance, if you were looking forward to quality time with your children but realize that hasn’t happened, what can you do to change that? Maybe you want to schedule in times that you are going to devote to family only, and you’ll work the rest of your schedule around it. Or maybe a weekend away with the kids is in order.

But let’s say you haven’t reached your “goal” because it was unrealistic, or your priorities have changed. In that case, accept that what you thought you wanted or were going to do has shifted. That’s okay. It’s only if you beat yourself up with “should haves” that you’re less likely to be satisfied with how you spent your time.

A quick example may be that you planned to read several books in your field this summer. However, you’re beginning to realize that you may not have time to get through the seven books you planned to read and still do the other things you wanted to do. It would be a perfect time to readjust your goal. Maybe reading 3 or 4 books are more realistic. That way, you will not only have time for other pursuits but also get to concentrate on the several books you do choose to read – without feeling like a “failure.” Remember, there’s always more time later! This isn’t a matter of giving in or being lazy. Think about differentiating your lessons for different students’ needs: you meet the child where he or she is. You’re simply differentiating your summer to meet your needs!

Personal/Family Activities

• Taking a vacation • Taking day trips to a park, museum, or the beach • Visiting the library or a book store • Going to yard sales and flea markets • Reading a pleasure book or magazine • Shopping • Playing a sport or musical instrument • Indulging in a hobby or craft • Pursuing a new hobby • Getting outdoors • Planning a picnic or get-together with friends/family • Watching TV/movies • Doing home improvement projects/yard work/gardening • Going to the pool • Learning a foreign language

Professional Activities

• Catching up on professional reading • Planning new lessons • Revising and improving upon past lessons, power points, etc. • Attending professional development workshops and seminars • Taking part in summer committee work • Teaching summer school • Tutoring students • Planning a field trip or assembly for the next school year for your class • Meeting with co-teachers to plan for the upcoming year • Planning bulletin boards/classroom layout • Revamping classroom management routines and procedures • Doing online research for materials, books, and other resources/ideas

Read more on MAKE THE MOST OF SUMMER: IDEAS FOR TEACHERS

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