Teacher Time: The Summer Rejuvenation Guide
It's finally here and how wonderful does it feel?! After a year of hard work and dedication, the school gates are padlocked and it's a full month and a half of good coffee and croissants (from the comfort of your own home) did I hear a sigh of relief? These next few weeks are important for recharging the batteries, enjoying some you time and generally not having to think about the classroom, so this blog piece is dedicated to making sure that you all dedicate some time to doing so. We all know it's difficult to switch off, these days it's an automatic habit to check your emails, pop in to do some 'extra marking' and make plans for the new school year. It's these things that make you deserve that long stretch of peace and quiet so I think it's about time you took it...
It goes without saying that we all deserve a treat, so whatever you had little time to do on those evenings covered in coursework is for you to take the opportunity to do right NOW. It doesn't have to be something dramatic, just an extra long bath or a leisurely breaky can do the trick. Don't fancy getting dressed today? Don't. Rubbishy tele on repeat? Brilliant. Even small things such as not setting an alarm or starting a new book are taken for granted with your busy schedule so get cracking, whatever you feel like doing, do it.
Some Work & Lots of Play
Obviously work can't be escaped forever, yes September seems a long way off but we all know that there are going to moments of madness before we go back to school. Having a set schedule for papers you need to mark, new lesson plans you need to create or even just emails you've been putting off replying to is a good way to go about managing the load. Pop an hour or two aside every few days or dedicate a week to having everything ready and waiting for you pupils so that you still have plenty of time to relax and put your feet up. Some people prefer just to get on and get everything done the first few days of the break and then relax. Others prefer to gear back up for school by working at the end of the holiday – do what suits you, but remember that taking a moment to plan will help you to relax when you’re not working. There are plenty of ways to try and make it enjoyable too (or at least a little more bearable) pop on Pinterest for plenty of educational ideas and research other teachers blogs, eat chocolate & drink huge mugs of tea to concentrate & keep your slippers firmly on, try to enjoy the time you allocate, even if it is work related, boohoo.
Be The Pupil
It's so easy to slip into our every day roles when we're constantly teaching others, but maybe it about time you took this opportunity to learn something new? Come out of your comfort zone and give something else a go. Get your creative juices flowing by enjoying some cooking, art or crafting. Doing something completely different will help to recharge the batteries and it's very likely that you're going to enjoy it, plus going back to work with a feeling of accomplishment will set you up for the new school year.
Home Is Where The Heart Is
Piles of washing, dusty sideboards and plates galore are just some of the few things we face with a busy working life, (I won't mention the hoovering and the empty food cupboards...) whoops! If you're at home during the holidays you may find it difficult to relax if the house just isn't looking clean and cosy, taking time to brush the cobwebs away and having a good spring clean will give you a wonderful environment to relax in. I know alarm bells are already ringing, you're exhausted and the thought of housework makes you want to hide your head under the pillow, but internally it'll be pretty rewarding, do it in steps, dedicate a certain day to it & wallah! you'll be comfy in no time.
Planning Makes Perfect
We all love the idea of having things to look forward to, getting excited is something that drives us through those days of housework despair! Get planning with family & friends, it may not be a two-week holiday on an island in Barbados but ladies doing lunch or a weekend by the beach with the kids are just as lovely. These types of days are the ones that are going to make you feel the most relaxed and yourself again. Spend as much time as you can making the most of this freedom, even if it's just a brisk walk round the park or feeding the ducks... it all counts. Having a calendar full of events that aren't parents evening meetings & inspections, looks so much nicer on the wall, don't you think?!
After a manic few months, we tend to compromise a lot of what we love, which sometimes can make us question why on earth we got into this profession in the first place. This is fine to feel by the way, the good, the bad and the ugly are all faced by everyone at work but for you as a teacher you can now make the most of reflecting on why this career path was the one you chose. Take the time to think about the differences you'll make in the new school term and what you feel you were especially strong with. Congratulate yourself in everything you've achieved and look at how far you've come. Reflection is a fantastic process, it not only allows us to learn more about ourselves and how we learn, but it also aids us in improving academic skills. Remind yourself of your passions for you subject matter and the rewarding outcomes it has offered.