Don’t those summer weeks come and go in the blink of an eye? How do you plan to spend your last day of summer? Here are a few ideas for easing back into the school year.
- Set Measurable Professional Development Goals: Back to school professional development is a great time to check in with your teaching practice and get inspired for a new year of your career. Research new instructional practices or instructional tools to enhance your teaching. Choosing one or two goals to focus on can help you from feeling overwhelmed with the surplus of information at your fingertips. For example, maybe this upcoming school year will be when you take the leap to flexible seating? Or perhaps you are integrating meaningful number talks in math, or you want to go paperless. Seek out one or two purposeful and measurable opportunities to grow your practice.
- Get Inspired with Last-Minute Read: Rotate your beach reads with professional texts at the end of summer. A picture perfect late-summer evening to me is lounging in a beach chair with a stack of books nearby! I try to walk away from every book with something positive I can apply in my practices when I go back to school, and I almost always feel totally invigorated and ready to meet my new class! You can find me nose deep in these books right now:
- The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity by George Couros. A long-time follower of George on Twitter, I’m eager to dive into this book to empower my learners to become “forward-thinking leaders.”
- Kids Deserve It!: Pushing Boundaries and Challenging Conventional Thinking by Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome. This one is obvious. I’ll be reading it because #kidsdeserveit! A few colleagues read this last year and had a lot of great things to say about it, so I’m excited!
- Shattering the Perfect Teacher Myth: 6 Truths That Will Help You THRIVE as an Educator by Aaron Hogan. What interested me about this book is the idea that there is no such thing as a perfect teacher – we are all just trying our best! Thriving as an educator is exactly how I want to start my new school year!
- Don’t Abandon Your Personal Passion Projects! During the school year, our lives are often so consumed with the responsibilities that come along with teaching. As a result, we tend to put our hobbies to the side… until summer rolls around! What have you tapped into again over the summer? Make a point of not leaving it behind this year by carving out designated time for it during your weeks. Whether that be yoga, gardening, traveling, or crafting: keep your attention and focus on these hobbies alongside teaching. Finding a hobby that brings you happiness is critical for your self-care. It makes you more well-rounded and as a result, a stronger educator.
- Ease Back into Your Regular Alarm Schedule: This hugely important “task” will make the transition back into the school year much easier! Longer days full of sunlight make it easy to stay up late and sleep in several hours past when that first bell rings. While it’s ok to stray every now and then, now’s the time to return to your year-round schedule. It’s more important than you think for your well-being, and will leave you feeling refreshed on your first day back!
- Relax: You can’t pour from an empty cup! Spend your remaining long and lazy days soaking up as much zen-time as you can. Your students will thank you for it when you return to school refreshed!
How are you spending your remaining summer days before you go back to school? I’d love to hear about it! Tweet it to @Kids_Discover or @jenn_overstreet to share what you’re reading, how you’re relaxing, and what your passion projects will be this year!