Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Teachers Re-Energize This Summer!


Whether you are teaching one child at home or you are about to release 30 kids from your class for the summer, it is no doubt that all teachers need some personal time during the summer months to prepare for the next school year. Many of you will clean out and organize your rooms, some of you will continue to teach throughout the summer and or perhaps will attend conferences to continue to work on your own education. It is often forgotten that teachers need to recharge too. Some like to think teachers are lounging by the pool every day but most don't even get a chance to do that at all! I remember working my second and third jobs during the summers "off"! No matter what, teachers, you need to stop to take care of yourself. You give so much throughout the regular school year so it is necessary to take moments for yourself. How else can we become better educators, mothers, and students ourselves if we don't take a little time?

Here are 7 tips to help you organize some of your summer days for relaxation and inspiration to better prepare you for the upcoming school year:

1) Travel. If you get a chance to go to a beautiful island or to a foreign country, enjoy!! Disconnect and just relax. You never know what might inspire you to develop a lesson to take back to your students. If you are not able to go too far away, I find that day-trips across town or a couple of nights to a nearby city are just as relaxing. Museums in a nearby town are my favorite when I can't go too far. My children learn and I watch out for what peaks their interest.

2) Read.  Anything! If you want to catch up on the latest thriller or dig into that historical-fiction novel that is too heavy to carry during your commute, just read. Sit back and relax. My mother is coming this summer for three weeks and she has promised to spend time with the kids so I can finish a couple of books I started months ago!

3) Take an art class. A music class or a dance class are good ideas as well. Taking classes outside of your teaching subject matter is great for the soul and your overwhelmed head! They also foster creativity and inspiration. I'm always looking for something new and I like classes that I don't have to commit to long-term. A fun, spontaneous, and different class where you are not the one teaching can be so beneficial.

4) Meet up with a different group of friends. You know what I love about my girlfriends? They are all SO different. I also like meeting their friends because women are so interesting, full of ideas and have unique work experiences. Hang with your teacher friends, of course! But don't be shy about meeting new friends too. I bet you'll learn something new.

5) Pamper yourself. Take a day (or a few for this one!) to give yourself a spa treatment. I know some friends who like to take care of their own manicures and pedicures. I suggest that if you can splurge a little, make an appointment at your favorite spa. You need a massage. You might need a facial too. Wink wink.

6) Get outside. Gardening, hiking, or running can be very relaxing and inspiring. Whatever your favorite outdoor activity may be, it is important to reconnect with nature. Our teaching jobs take place in the same room every day. Some teaching conditions are not always ideal. This is your time to take advantage of the weather and ground yourself a little to earth. Picnics under a tree are my favorite.

7) Hang out with kids of different ages. I had the opportunity to teach preschoolers in Tokyo and what a difference from American middle-school kids! I found inspiration and ideas for my regular students from that experience. I never thought I could bring more picture books into the secondary classroom but little children taught me that I could. Borrow your nieces and nephews or attend family events and mingle with different ages a little more. Pick their brain or just listen to their conversations for some clues on what they are really into.

Teachers deserve a break! A little re-energizing and inspiration this summer is a must! Concentrating on just you for a few days or a few weeks will be very valuable to your students and to yourself. Enjoy!

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Betty Galvan, is helping her readers "find the positive and seek the benefits" over at her blog, MyFriendBettySays.com.

She is the mother of three beautiful little boys and a teacher.


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