10 Things For Teachers To Do This Summer

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Beth Hartwell

Beth writes for the Teacher Toolkit site from a secondary perspective. She is currently a Lead Practitioner of Teaching and Learning at a school in York with a specialism of teaching secondary Science. She is currently teaching in a iPad school and is interested sharing...
Read more about Beth Hartwell

What will you do over summer?

The summer holidays is all about taking some time outside of the school setting, catching up with friends and family and trying new things.

To inspire you and encourage you to relax, I’ve put together my ideas for ways you can enjoy and maximise the holidays to ensure you are refreshed and ready for the new term come September… with Teacher Burnout a distant memory.

1. Have a digital detox

Have some time truly to yourself, time to slow things down and time to relax, without digital interruptions. Turn off all your notifications, especially work e-mail alerts, but also try turning off WhatsApp notifications, Twitter notifications, BBC news alerts… anything that makes you look at your phone and interrupts your day. You then make the decision if you want to check your messages or your social media, at your own pace.

2. Visit a National Trust site

Find the perfect picnic spot, walk through fragrant summer gardens or visit an outdoor cinema. There are many summer events happening within the most beautiful settings and as well as having the perfect day out, you can rest assured that your contribution aids in conserving beautiful parts of the country. Have a look to see what’s local to you.

3. Take advantage of a weekday-only coupon

Now is the prime opportunity to utilise the “only valid from Monday- Friday” deals. Go for a half price meal or have a relaxing massage; make the most of those weekdays off. Coupon sites will also give you some brilliant ideas for cheap days out that are interesting and quirky. Visit the Emmerdale set, go greyhound racing or take a helicopter hover challenge – take advantage of these during the summer holidays!

4. Watch a whole TV series

Take recommendations from colleagues for series to watch over the holidays. My recommendations are Prison Break and Designated Survivor – what would you recommend? We wrote about taking a day off and binge watching tv in a #1minCPD tip last half term – let go of teacher guilt and take a whole day out to do nothing!

5. Have a mid-day nap… outside

On the topic of doing nothing… A good mid-afternoon nap can be bliss during the summer holidays; lets hope the weather stays as good to have a snooze alfresco!

6. Go to a ‘pick your own’ farm

This is more than just strawberry picking with some farms having up to 20 fruit and vegetables to choose from. From the traditional strawberries and raspberries to choosing sweetcorn, onions, beetroot and spinach. Parkside Farm in Enfield even have their own map for you to navigate around the farm and a shop selling ice cream for an after picking treat!

7. Skype a friend who lives in a different time zone

Its hard to keep in contact during term time with someone who lives on the other side of the world – summer is the perfect time to catch up over Skype (and a glass of wine!). In our house all good catch ups are centred around food so why not have a Skype dinner party? My best Skype calls to friends in America have centred around cooking meals together and sitting down to eat, drink and be merry.

8. Go on a park run

Do you know about parkrun? Have you been thinking about going, but after a long week at school never had the energy to get up and make it to your local event at 9am on a Saturday morning? The summer holidays is the perfect time to try it out! Park runs are free and take part all over the world so there’s bound to be one in your area – have a search on their website and start your weekend with a 5k jog round your local park.

9. Cook dinner for a friend who is working

When your forgetting which day it is, some people are counting the days down until its the weekend. Why not make their week by cooking them dinner and having a catch up with a friend who isn’t a teacher.

10. Reflect on the year

Finally, make sure you celebrate all of the achievements this year. Make a note of all of the positive things that you and your classes have achieved this year (with curricular changes and ever increasing expectations it has been a tough one!). Note down one aspect of your practice that you would like to work on and write down some next steps on how you will develop this further in September.

How does your list compare? Please let us know what you will do this summer!

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