Plan for the extraordinary by setting a new standard for a teacher’s summer break.

Grades have been shared, you’ve reflected on the year with your students, farewells have been said to students and colleagues, now what is the summer plan? If the answer is sitting around for hours everyday catching up on Netflix, STEM Jobs has a homework assignment that will offer you a fresh take on the teacher’s summer break.

Learn a New Language

Many community colleges offer non-credit language-learning courses for adult students. In addition to teaching a language, many instructors will weave cultural lessons into class time by holding a potluck or sharing stories of growing up in their native land. Free services, such as Babbel or are also available and excellent for a teacher’s summer break budget.

Have a Do-Nothing Day

teacher's summer breakIt’s acceptable to have a day during which the biggest goal is moving from the bed to the couch and pizza is an acceptable source of all major food groups. Intentionally dedicating one day to complete laziness is healthy – especially immediately following the official final day of school. Taking a lazy day allows teachers to smoothly transition from a world of chaotic grading, lesson planning, and mentoring into two months of choosing how to spend their own time.

Mellow Out through Meditation

Meditation can be an effective method of easing the stress of daily life. Whether taking half an hour to write in a journal, sitting outside immersed in nature, or dedicating 30 minutes to free online yoga each day, daily meditation can have deep, positive effects. Consistency is key, therefore practice meditating at the same hour each day. Carry this practice into the new school year and discover how this seemingly simple change can make a profound, positive difference.

Take a Free Online Class

teacher's summer breakExploring a new subject can help improve mood and enhance teaching. Set a goal for learning a new skill, whether it’s introduction to HTML, engineering, or WordPress. Spending obscene amounts of money is no longer necessary to pick up a few new skills, as many companies now offer free online courses to satisfy a seemingly insatiable thirst for knowledge, as well as a completely fragile bank account.

Teacher’s Summer Break Travel

Plan a journey to a new place that is close to home, hop in the car for a road trip, or even take a train to develop a new travel perspective. If the international travel bug has bitten, resources exist for discount, or free, teacher journeys. BUNAC provides visa and work-abroad planning services for many industries, including teaching, and STA Travel offers teacher’s summer break discounts. Many opportunities for teachers to explore grant-funded educational journeys also exist through organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Fund for Teachers. Start completing applications now for the 2017 season!

Summer Reading

Teacher's summer break

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Though students aren’t the only ones who should have a summer reading list, each educator should focus on completely indulging in pleasure reading for teacher’s summer break. Many formerly avid readers allow career, school, and family to chip away at precious pleasure reading time. Teachers should view vacation as a time for immersing themselves in their favorite genre or revisiting beloved classics. For extra credit, visit the local library to explore new reading options in a familiar, yet oft forgotten, setting that provides free, valuable materials.

Be 18 Again

No, don’t be irresponsible and hold a keg party in your backyard, but instead think back to a time when everything was still possible and the sky was the limit. If some of those aspirations fell to the wayside during the last few (or 15) years, summer is perfect for falling in love with former passions. Pursue adult dance classes, study photography, or take a jewelry-making course. Contact local community colleges for unique, affordable adult-education classes to reignite the spark on a former passion project.

See You in September

A teacher’s summer break should be filled with a lot of adult fun and games, but don’t allow the season to slip by without any preparation for the upcoming school year. Keep a teacher’s summer break journal of possible plans for the next school year and, if the mood strikes over the next two months, jot down a quick, informal note outlining the idea.

Educators deserve respite during vacation, but just as students must not fall victim to the summer slide teachers also have to engage in some activities that promote a sharp mindset. The secret to an enjoyable teacher’s summer break is learning, having fun, and exploring at least a bit outside comfort-zone confines.

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