Go into any school in America during the school year and you will probably hear teachers talking about how much they can't wait until summer vacation. Then, when summer finally comes around, they often take it for granted or don't value it enough. When the summer is over, they look back and wonder where it went.
Here are some tips for appreciating your summer :
*Avoid doing anything school related for as long as you possibly can (except for reading this blog, of course). It is so easy to burn out from teaching. The best way to avoid this is to take a complete break from anything education related during the summertime. Don't teach summer school, don't tutor, don't plan your upcoming school year until you absolutely have to. Take a break!
*Mingle. Teaching is one of those jobs that makes any kind of social activity extremely difficult. I consider myself to be a very social person, and I often have to force myself to get out during the school year. The job can be so exhausting, you often just want to come home and rest, even on the weekends. Take advantage of your free time during the summer. If you are married and/or have kids, the summer is the time to get a baby sitter and hit the town.
*Don't hang out at your school unless you have to. I know, you love your school so much that you just can't stand the thought of being away. Force yourself. Don't hang out at school at all during the summer unless you have some official business there.
*Travel. There is no better time than the summer to take a vacation or two. I know that teachers aren't known for having a lot of spare cash laying around, but there is always some kind of travel idea you can find on just about any budget.
*Find some mischief. I am always fascinated when I see teachers out of their teaching environment at conferences, meetings, etc. This is especially true if these events are not in their hometown. Believe it or not, a lot of teachers get crazy when they get the chance! I'm not exactly sure why this is the case, but my guess is that teachers have to behave and be role models so much during the school year that they can't wait to get out and misbehave a little. This is not one that I have much trouble with, but if you are the shy type, you may need to find someone who can inspire a little mischief in your life. Just don't get arrested or on the local news for something embarrassing.
Whatever your preferences are for summer fun, don't waste your chance! Before you know it, a new school year will be starting up and you will be writing on your board how many days are left until the next summer vacation.
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