Your school year is almost finished! Congratulations!
As you begin your well-deserved break, let’s think about how to make the most of this time. How about weaving these 3 Simple Summer Planning Activities into your summer so you’re prepared for fall. (You know you’re thinking about it anyway!) Preparing now, while your mind is fresh from the year, helps you to focus your valuable time on tasks that will truly benefit you and your next class of students.
Project # 1: Declutter Your Classroom
- This project is your most time-sensitive to plan. You want to prepare your room before the summer break. Your room may be used for summer programming, or at the very least, given an intense cleaning by your team of custodians. In an effort to prepare the room, declutter the classroom by purging, organizing, labeling and creating an inventory. Jumping on this sooner than later will allow you to get to the beach faster, or perhaps give you a nice break between your school year job and your summer job. Check out this article, Teachers’ End of the Year Organization & Binder Tips, written by Special Education Teacher Caitlin Orsborne and featured on teachhub.com for ideas on how to organize with binders.
Project # 2: Research and Plan New Projects for Your Students
- Start by asking yourself which lessons fell short this past year or which lessons were most engaging. Using your reflective thinking, generate a list of lesson units that you can use as launch pads to research and find an exciting new project for your class. Consider whether you need to incorporate more collaborative or independent projects and keep in mind materials and resources and what you will need to do to prepare for a successful launch. Need a place to start in your research? Try this edutopia.com article, Twenty Ideas for Engaging Projects. You will find fabulous ideas on everything from social-emotional to core content areas to nutrition.
Project #3: Do Your Summer Reading
- Whether you get to take a summer ‘break’ or will be working this summer, carve out some time to do some reading this summer. You can read on your lunch break or in the early hours of the morning. Not only is it helpful for your career development but it’s just fun to focus some attention on books that interest you. We suggest a mix of genres to keep you balanced. Pick whatever allows you to get lost in a book, whether that is fiction or nonfiction, mystery or fantasy. In addition, what do you want to learn more about before you welcome in your new class? Sprinkle a couple of books that will help develop your skills as a leader in your classroom into your summer reading list.
Remember to allow yourself time to take on non-work projects in addition to vacation and relaxation. You deserve a break from all that surrounds your role as an educator. But you also teach because you love the field and your students. Make time each week to focus on some low-stress activities. It will keep your mind fresh and you will be better prepared to walk back into school feeling ready to take on a new class of kids.