The summer holidays are here! This means that it’s the start of a well-deserved break for those who are currently teaching in the UK. The majority of educators will now have around six glorious weeks to fill before they return to the classroom in September. While this time will fly by in the blink of an eye, there’s no reason why teachers can’t make the most of it and prepare for the upcoming school term. With this in mind, here are seven ways that teachers can make the most of their time off.
First and foremost, it’s important to relax. You’ll be no good to anyone if you have failed to recharge your batteries by the time school resumes in September. Therefore, make a point of catching up on sleep, partaking in exercise and detaching yourself from the few pressures of your job. This tactic won’t just help you unwind and enjoy the summer, it will also help you reach peak performance in the upcoming school year. For instance, a relaxed and well-rested body is less likely to succumb to illness when you’re back at work.
You will know full well that there is always room for improvement. After all, this is the same message that you drum into your pupils on a day-to-day basis. You should, therefore, be prepared to take your own advice over the summer holidays. Even if you’ve put in 100% effort over the previous school year, you should re-assess your strengths and weaknesses. Once you have a firm understanding of where there may be room for improvement, you can get a head start on perfecting your craft before it’s time to head back to work.
Schools – like any workplace in the country – rely on teamwork to thrive. Teams, of course, are built on relationships. This is why it’s a shame that relationships built up during term time can sometimes fall on the backburner during the summer holidays. You can help combat this from happening by making a point to communicate with other teachers during the break. A friendly text or a playful email every now and then should do the trick when it comes to maintaining the strong bonds with your colleagues. Ultimately, this should help you all remain a well-oiled machine when the next school year swings around.
4. Brush up on your subject
You may know the subject you teach like the back of your hand. However, it can’t hurt to read around it once again. There may be bits of information that have slipped your mind or new developments that you might not have read about yet. You could even find that reading up on the subject outside of the classroom helps you to connect with it better because you’re less pressed for time. Don’t forget, you should pay special attention to the syllabus and any significant changes that may have just been implemented.
5. Organise your classroom
OK, so you don’t want to be nipping into the school too often during the summer holidays. However, you should find it surprisingly beneficial to experience the joys of an empty classroom. As well as it being a space where you can get work done in peace and quiet, you should also find it easier to organise when there is no one else around. This could be by ordering new supplies, removing old wall displays or cleaning your desk. You might also find that there are advantages to moving the tables and chairs into a position that better promotes learning and concentration.
6. Run work-related errands
September will be here before you know it. Rather than getting caught off guard by the new term, you should start to prepare for it over the summer holidays. Work-related errands need not be strenuous. In fact, they can be as simple as buying clothes to wear when you’re back in the classroom. After all, this is one less job that you’ll need to do when you’re back in work.
7. Savour your weekdays
There are countless rewards – both personal and professional – that can be enjoyed in the teaching profession. Unfortunately, they come at the expense of weekdays. Educators have so few weekdays off work throughout the year and therefore they should make sure to take advantage of them all over the summer holidays. Make sure you eat lunch out on Mondays, hit the gym on Wednesdays and hang out with friends on Fridays. This way you won’t feel envious about missing out when you return to the classroom in September.