We all know that teachers have an incredibly long summer holiday, but few people appreciate the exhaustion that precedes the holidays. As teachers, we want to enjoy our break, to relax, recharge and reset before the madness of the next term begins again.
So here are Ten Top Tips to ensure that your summer holiday leaves you feeling amazing.
- Preparation is the key. So, start before the summer term ends. Tidy all your belongings and organise your classroom (if you are staying where you are.) If you find yourself moving to a new room, then get your bits and pieces into their new home as soon as possible.
- Planning. I know you don’t want to think about returning to work, especially when you haven’t even finished yet. But leaving at least an outline plan for your first day back will make a massive difference to your attitude at the start of the new term.
- Shut the door and walk away. On the last day of school, take your end-of-year gifts and walk away. It’s important, as teachers, that we take the time to rest and recharge our batteries. We give so much to this very demanding profession, and definitely earn our holidays. Don’t give up part of your holiday time to go into school to clean or tidy the class.
- Establish routines. So, you don’t need to set the alarm clock for a few weeks, but don’t get into the bad habit of sleeping late and staying up into the wee-small hours. Insomnia can be an issue for many teachers, given the long hours we put in outside of school. Setting a regular wake-up and bedtime for during the holidays can help to retain a sense of normality (and it makes it easier to get back into the routine when the new term rolls round.)
- Get away from it all. Having a holiday somewhere nice and sunny is always a great way to rejuvenate. A change of pace and view can have a relaxing effect on the over-worked teacher’s brain. But if you haven’t booked a holiday, you can still benefit from a change of scenery, by looking out for short breaks or even day trips.
- Exercise. Not only will a regular exercise regime help with sleep, it will also boost your endorphin levels making you feel happier and therefore making the summer holidays more enjoyable. There are many different types of exercise to choose from, so why not set a goal to try something new each week?
- Read a good book, or many. Throughout the school year, we often feel over-worked and with little time to indulge our hobbies and interests. The summer break is an ideal time to break open a book and lose yourself in the fantasy world of another person. Always wanted to read ‘the classics?’ Now is your time to download a book on your Kindle or even head to the local library for some inspiration.
- Make healthy choices. In summer, it’s easier to follow a healthier lifestyle. Something about the sun and slightly warmer weather, just makes it a bit easier to make better choices for food and drink. An easy way to introduce a healthier diet is to add the juice of half a lemon to a cup of boiling water, and drink it each morning. The lemon juice aids your liver in detoxification, and this shows in glowing skin. When you start back school in the autumn, everyone will wonder why you look so refreshed?
- Be a lifelong learner. With 6 weeks on your hands, there may not be a better opportunity to learn something you’ve always been interested in. Local colleges and universities have excellent summer leisure programmes, where you can explore photography, languages, art or even cookery.
- Stop and just be. As teachers, we constantly look to the future. Preparing children for jobs that don’t exist yet and planning what we will be teaching in 3 months’ time. There is rarely the opportunity to sit in the here and now and just be. Take a walk in nature, with your phone in your pocket. Or spend an evening star gazing. You won’t regret the time you spend just watching the world go by, and who knows it may just make you a better teacher!