Those who say that teachers have the summer off clearly have never taught. No matter how many days we have off during the summer, there are never enough to feel completely ready for the new school year.
A few weeks ago, I asked veteran teachers in Mrs. D’s VIPs Facebook group what they do during the weeks off to prepare for the first day of school… ya know, like back to school rituals.
Their summertime back to school rituals may surprise you! Join the group and weigh in on the conversation here.
The VIP veteran teachers had some great advice for summertime back to school rituals that set the year up for success:
Watch how much you spend on school supplies. Keep an eye on your summer spending, because it can quickly and easily get out of control. Set a budget at the beginning of summer for how much you want to spend and be sure to mark your purchases off against that.
Family comes first. With relatively stress-free days ahead, it’s easy to get excited about planning for back to school. Just remember that family comes first and they need and deserve your attention more than those task cards that you want to laminate.
It’s okay not to think about school. Don’t feel guilty about taking a few weeks for yourself and not thinking about the new school year at all. Everything will be there when it’s time to start planning and working.
Rest and recover. Some school years are harder than others, but no matter how it went take time to rest, relax, and recover during the summer months. Many teachers recommend taking the first full month of summer break to spend time with family without the pressure of planning and preparation for the new year.
Take a look at what worked the previous year and what didn’t go as planned. The summer months can give you a different perspective on things that happened during the school year, so it’s the perfect time to reflect. Think about what went well that you would like to continue and examine where you struggled and how you can improve.
Pick one big project to focus on during the summer, like organizing your classroom library. Whether it’s setting up an entirely new class schedule from scratch, building DIY flexible seating, or prepping a new morning routine, choose one large project that excites you.
Invest in professional development. From free webinars on classroom management to books that introduce new ways to teach, professional and personal development opportunities abound. Focus on a topic that you’re interested in or one where you’d like to improve your skills.
Pace yourself. Plan out what you’d like to accomplish during the summer and set a schedule. Remember that not everything has to be done before the school year begins. The easiest way to plan is to start backward from the first day of school and map out what needs to be completed before then.
Try not to stress. The school year is filled with enough stress, so try to relax during the summer. Whether it’s reading a book (I have recommended my favorites on IG here) in your backyard hammock or playing in the pool with your kids, you have earned and deserve the opportunity to relax.
What advice would you give to teachers who are not sure what to do during the summer months? Do you plan weeks ahead for back to school, or does your prep work begin the week before school starts? Share your summertime back to school rituals with us below!
Don’t forget to join the VIP group and weigh in on the conversation here.