News flash: most teachers work during summer break! Despite the rumors that are floating around out there, too many teachers work during part of summer break or even throughout the summer break. This year, teachers should put themselves first and relax.
In college, teachers are taught some skills they might not use but they are taught them just in case they need them. The skills that were not taught were skills on how to teach, survive, and thrive during a pandemic. Teachers fumbled their way through the end of last school year and throughout this school year the best way they knew how. They had to learn on the fly.
First up, teachers should not sign up for summer school. I know some teachers teach summer break because they need or want the extra income, if that is you, go ahead and collect your coins. No judgment here. Summer school can be exhausting, and it starts right after school concludes. It does not give teachers the opportunity to pause and reflect back over the year. Yes, I know about the summer slide and learning loss because of the pandemic. I assert students need a break, too, but maybe I’ll get into that in another piece.
Second, teachers need to make plans to connect with grown-ups who aren’t at their school. Yes, it is great that you found your best friend for life at your school. Good for you. When you hang out with people from school, you tend to talk about school. When my husband and I go on date night, we have to be intentional about not talking about our boys. We love them, but sometimes we need some grown folks conversation and activity that doesn’t involve talking about children.
Third, teachers need to go somewhere. Ideally, a tropical location would be best, but everyone’s school didn’t give them a pandemic bonus, so that might not be feasible. Check out some places in your city that you may not have ever visited, or go to places you haven’t been to prior to the pandemic. If you don’t want to be around people, try walking on some nature trails. My experience with trail walking has been good, and I haven’t come across too many people so far.
Last, read for pleasure. If you are one of those people who just wants to read a professional book, choose one that you want to read, not a book recommended by the district or your principal.
Teachers deserve some serious me time. Teachers are the least likely to put themselves first. This summer, summer 2021, is the time to start if you haven’t already.