Summer Is the Time for Teacher Self-Care
Ah, summer! I take this time to reflect, rejuvenate, and rest!
I reflect on the past school year and the professional goals I want to set for the upcoming school year. I rest by making sure I take real breaks throughout the summer when I don’t think about school. I rejuvenate by engaging in fun activities that I enjoy and by learning new things. Here are some ways that I incorporate self-care into the end of the hectic school year and extend it into the summer months.
Plan Before Summer Starts
In the busyness of the end of the school year, I begin to plan my summer. This helps me see the finish line. For example, this summer I am going to take a cooking class on how to make macarons!
Create a Book List
I love reading! I either start buying books or reserving them from the library as the school year wraps up, so they are ready for me when summer starts. I always choose a professional book that I want to read, but I also make sure I add in some fun books to enjoy in the downtime.
I set times within the week that are work hours and then stick to that.
Set Aside a Week for a Real Break
Whether I travel or just stay at home, I make sure that I plan certain weeks of the summer to be true breaks from email, meetings, professional development, planning, or anything school related—true downtime.
Last year, my nieces spent much of the summer with us, and we went to a new playground every week; it was something we were all excited about, and we got to travel to different parts of our city. This summer I already have planned a cooking class and a visit to see my oldest son in his new city, and I will be moving my youngest son into his college dorm and exploring the area where he will be living.
Sharla Starker is a Responsive Classroom educator from Columbus, Ohio.