I love summer.  I always have and hope I always will.  I was born in June and we have tons of birthdays in my family during the summer.  In my mind, it is just a time full of relaxing and celebrating.

However, I loved teaching, too, and sometimes balancing my love of both was difficult! Crazy, right?

Does your mind race with new and fresh teaching ideas now that you are off?  Do you want to get into your classroom and TOTALLY reorganized…something? Yeah, well.  That was me!

So, how can you embrace your freedom and summer and time to renew with your desire to improve?

First things first.  This technically IS your “vacation.” Your time to renew yourself.  Embrace it.
My definition of relaxing before kids and after kids during the summer time is a *bit* different.  A potty break all by myself now?  Heaven! But take time to do the things you love.  I love reading. I read all year long, but I reallllly read in the summer! 
Here are a few of my favorites- in no particular order.   I am terrible at deciding favorites!
I tend to like YA books with a paranormal twist.  I read other stuff, too I promise!
Whatever you do, take the time to do what you love. There is no better time than today.
After you got all that relaxing in, take some time to reflect. What do you want to do differently next year?  There are a MILLION and one ways to improve and change your teaching each year.  I NEVER did things exactly the same each year.  I don’t think it was even possible to do it the same with my DNA make up!  I thrive on change and improvement. What are some things you could try next year?
Whole Brain Teaching
Interactive Notebooks
Reading Workshop
Literature Circles
Social Studies Simulations
New Science Experiments
Reorganize the Classroom Library
Mentor Texts
Genius Hour
The list goes on and on.  Where do you want to get better?
I am a list maker.  It helps me to dump everything in my brain on paper.  It helps me sleep at night, honestly!
Theresa from True Life I’m a Teacher shared these awesome to do lists when we started out collaborative blog.
They are perfect for a summer “brain dump.” Click on the picture to download them from her blog FREE!!  Yahoo!
Sit down and write all of the things your would like to tackle for the next year. Scribble down all the stuff you want to accomplish this summer.  I remember years when my lists was pages long.  For real.  Some of it was little things like check out a book from the library and others were huge.  Like reorganize the classroom library.  Eek!
Look at your list and pick out your top three.  Yeah.  Just trying to keep it real.  I never accomplished more than three big projects over the summer- and that was before kids!
I always felt that the things you could do that impacted your day to day life in the classroom were the ones to choose.
Like creating a teacher binder, reorganizing the classroom library,  or creating long range plans.
Amanda Madden at Teaching Maddeness did an amazing series on writing unit lesson plans that included long range planning.  I love her approach.  It is a must read in my book!
After figuring out your top three things you want to work on, create a plan on want you will need to do to achieve them.  Create labels or materials?  Read professional books and blogs? Physically go into the classroom and work?
If you keep a realistic list of your goals, then completing them is so much sweeter (says the girl who always had an unfinished list that was two miles long!).

What do you do during the summer? All work?  All play? Or a bit of both?

Published by Mandy Gregory

Mandy Gregory is a 2007 and 2012 Teacher of the Year. She has taught 4th, 3rd, and 2nd grade in both the general education and inclusion setting. She is the owner and creator of the Teaching Tips website (www.mandygregory.com) and has over 10 years of experience. She is married with two beautiful children.

3 replies on “The Summer Balance”

  1. I'm fortunate that we are almost forced to take a good portion of the summer off because we are not allowed in our schools over the summer at all. We get access two weeks before we officially begin and usually can't take materials home either so we can't do much planning until right before school begins. I'm good with that because it does force me to relax and decompress.

    I read a ton more in the summer than during the year just because I have more time but I also like to toss in 2-3 (or 4-5 depending upon the year) teacher books to help me learn and grow and do some things different the following year. It's a good balance that I'm grateful for. I think if I had access to my school all year, it would be way too tempting to want to go in and work in July.

  2. My goal this year for summer is to get all my reading, writing and math standards written out on chart paper so they are ready to be unpacked with the kiddos! It's a lot of writing… And time… And I am very picky about my handwriting. ????

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Email Format