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  • Writer's pictureMr. Stephen Online

Summer Break Tips for Teachers

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

Summer seems like a huge chunk of time for teachers right around the end of the school year ...but in reality, it flies by WAY FASTER than we expect it to! DON’T WORRY! You can totally have fun while still preparing for Fall! Here are my TOP 10 tips for Summer Planning!


1.  MAKE SUMMER PLANS! I always say that it’s important for anyone to plan ahead, but this is ESPECIALLY true for teachers! Life is kind of crazy during the school year, and we are constantly having to make plans not just for today, but for tomorrow and next week and next month and next year! SUMMER

BREAK IS NO DIFFERENT! If you want to come back to your classroom in the Fall with a stress-free feeling in your heart, you need to set yourself up! It is your break ...but don’t let it break you!

2.   GIVE YOURSELF SOME LIGHT-WEIGHT GOALS. Just to be clear, I am NOT saying that you should waste away working all summer long! Have a seat, decide what your highest priority tasks are for summer break, and write them down. Pretty easy, right? And THIS is actually the hard part (other than actually sitting down to do the work!)

3.  CREATE A CHECKLIST. Guys! Imagine a world without checklists! I mean...I literally can’t even!  If you’re not a check-list enthusiast, my advice is to fake it until you make it! I honestly feel like I could do anything as long as I have a checklist! Breaking your big goals down into smaller tasks will help you to (1) organize your thoughts, (2) create a strong vision that will guide you through each process, and (3) provide you with a solid game plan that can make even the most complicated tasks more manageable.

4.  SCHEDULE YOUR WORK TIME. It’s important to actually schedule times throughout summer break to sit down and work. It might be every other Tuesday from 12-4, Monday mornings after you’ve cured your Sunday hangover, or 9-5 for 4 days straight as soon as you’re back from Cancun. If you can look at your calendar, know when your work time begins and, more importantly, when it’s OVER --you’ll feel better about sitting down to tackle your to do list items! Don't get too cray. It’s your summer! Make a schedule that works for you!

5.  TACKLE THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEMS FIRST! While it’s great to be ambitious, the reality is that you may or may not get to every last item on your to-do list. Do your best to strategically place items in order from most important to least important. This will ensure that IF you don’t accomplish the last few items before summer is over, you won’t stress out so much. I mean, they weren’t top priority anyway!

6.  IF IT ISN’T BROKEN, LEAVE IT ALONE. As teachers, we are always thinking about how to improve this,or ways to enhance that! Summer is definitely the time to focus on making improvements to your practice, but you’re not a robot! You need time for YOU to just be YOU! Focus on making improvements that are more “necessary”. If you have a system that already works for you, leave it alone for the summer. It’ll be waiting for you when you get back and you can tweak as you go from that point on.  

7.  DON’T WORK OUTSIDE OF YOUR SCHEDULED WORK TIME! I know how easy it is to feel like you’re on a roll and forget that there’s life outside of the parameters of your work desk --but don’t get it twisted! Your summer is ticking on by and it’s important for you to take advantage of the day light, the night light, the afternoon light, and everything in between! Do your best to stick to your scheduled hours so that you don’t miss out on what summer is all about!


Even during your scheduled work time! This could totally mess up your flow and get you flying off on some side project that would lead to ZERO checks on your to-do list for the day! NOT what you want! The school district pays you to work for THEM during the school year. During summer, you work for YOU! Don’t let anyone get you caught up in anything that doesn’t directly benefit your practice!

9.  DO NOT OVERDO IT! If you push yourself beyond your own limits by making a ridiculously ambitious checklist and then taking your laptop with you to Cancun just to stay on track with the work you’ve created for yourself, you are going to sink. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow --but when the Fall Semester rolls around and you have bags under your eyes and a bad attitude, you’ll regret not taking the “me” time that you SO deserved!

10.  HAVE FUN!!! Listen: who am

I to tell you how to have fun?! If you like wine, drink up! If you like the park, fly a kite! If you’re single, download Tinder! Do whatever it is that makes you happy because THIS is the time! We give so much of ourselves to the world for 9 months straight every year, so YES! You should spend a little time setting yourself up for another successful 9 months. But that should not come at the cost of a crazy fun summer filled with memories that will keep you motivated and sane through the next long haul!

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