Summertime is a special time for teachers. No classroom responsibilities, waking up early, or grading assignments. It can also be a challenging time. Some teachers report losing their drive, boredom and even a little summer depression. Whether summer is your favorite season of the year or you dread the end of the school year, here are some great ways to make the most of your summer.
All types of organizations are looking for volunteers, and you might find one that’s just right for you. These include food banks, animal shelters, Habitat for Humanity, local hospitals, libraries, nursing homes and more. Plus, organizations like these welcome volunteers for as little, or as much, time as you can donate.
Another terrific way to spend the summer is by taking a professional development course. There are many free, and good, workshops that are offered by school districts and unions.
You also might consider exploring Twitter chats for educators. These are conversations that take place on a specific topic on a specific day and time. Additionally, you can build or maintain a class website, or spend time researching classroom grants. If you’re really ambitious, you can use your summer time to start coursework for an advanced degree.
Some teachers use the off time to make a little extra money. Find work through a temp agency, or pick up summer shifts as a lifeguard, camp counselor or child care provider.
Summer is also a great time to get away and see new places. Take advantage of what is in your own backyard by exploring local parks and trails. Find maps and suggestions for day trips online, and look up free fairs and festivals near you. You can also visit local museums and historical sites.
If you want to get away for a few days, remember that many places offer teacher discounts, like Disney Parks. And don’t forget to take advantage of any out-of-town relatives you may be able to visit.
For some people, the best way to cope with the summertime blues is to be totally self-indulgent. Get a pool pass and spend some worthwhile time lounging by the water with a good book. Catch up on a few best sellers or some of those movies you’ve wanted to see. Have you been wanting to binge-watch a favorite TV show? Now is the time to do it. And when all else fails, take a nap.
Additionally, your summer break is a great time to try new things. You can learn to knit or try out new recipes. How about getting back in the gym and taking a water aerobics class? Maybe attending a writing retreat or starting a personal blog interests you. Or, consider picking up a new language. There are many free apps available to help you learn.
Free time can be a wonderful thing if you use it wisely. There are a number of options available for those months away from the classroom. Use your summer to rejuvenate and replenish your spirit so you’re well-rested and ready for another school year in the fall.