It’s here!! I cannot quite believe it, but we’ve successfully wrapped up another school year. One of my favorite things about our profession is the closure. Given our leanings (there’s more to do, let me try one more thing, I think if I just do this and that….), it’s such a blessing to have a definite stop date. And given our nature(s) and the all-consuming nature of our profession, it’s imperative we take a month or two to recharge. This all starts up again in two months! To all of my friends in education, here’s my advice for a great summer. I think even my friends working a second job, going to school, or teaching summer school can do most of these:
- Give yourself time to mourn if you need it. I’m more emotional than some, and I needed this first weekend to cry. Goodbyes-to the “babies” and parents and staff-are tough!
- If you can, follow your internal clock for waking up and going to sleep. I’ll have to keep the same schedule as I do all year because of my husband’s work schedule, but that’s not without benefits.
- If you DO stay up late and wake up late (lucky ducks!), make sure you start your “school schedule” 2-3 weeks before we officially start.
- Reconnect. Make sure you spend lots of time with family and friends. For most of us, our families get the short end of the stick when we are working. Let’s use this time to hang out with those we love most.
- Travel. If you can, get away from it all.
- Read! Read for fun and read for work. I like to read professional books now, when time is plentiful. Read children’s books. Read from as many genres as possible.
- Do nothing! It’s hard, isn’t it? August-May, there is ALWAYS something we should be doing on weekends and in the evenings. Surely, we can just putter some in June and July. I know I will!
- Romance. If you’re married, your spouse probably prefers your summer self. I know my Jeff is always happy to greet Summer Julie. Summer Julie has time and energy to have fun. She is relaxed. She’s up for spontaneous outings and impromptu get togethers. In short, she is the best version of me. (I really would like School Julie to do better, but I’m not sure I’ll ever manage that.)
- Learn. It’s important that educators keep learning, too. Try to attend a workshop or two. (Or perhaps you’d prefer to read professionally.) And try to learn something unrelated to our profession. My hubby and I have considered a cooking class.
- Simplify. One of my favorite summer activities is cleaning out the clutter in my life. I love cleaning out every closet, drawer, and shelf in my house. Truthfully, I don’t love doing it. I love the aftermath.
- God first. I hate to admit this, but my quiet time all but disappears in May. I’m looking forward to quiet, cool mornings on the porch. I love rocking and reading and praying. This is one of my favorite summer rituals.
- Get a head start! I like to sneak up to school a few weeks before we officially start to unpack and rearrange my classroom. In my district, we have the bulk of our staff development before the kids start. Having my room already finished helps me focus on the learning and on reconnecting with my staff.
- Ditch the phone. I don’t know about you, but I tend to spend too much time on my phone. My summer goal is to put the phone away and pay attention to my life.
- Do what makes you happy! For a brief time, the demands on our time are few, so enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!
Happy Summer! As always, I wish you MUCH joy!