The end of a school year brings a range of emotions, which can be overwhelming. Saying goodbye to students can be tough but usually, teachers are so tired when summer comes around that they need some time to recover. Let’s take a closer look at why the summer is so important for teacher wellness.
July 07, 2021
The end of a school year brings a range of emotions, which can be overwhelming. Saying goodbye to students can be tough but usually, teachers are so tired when summer comes around that they need some time to recover.
The upcoming summer break is a good opportunity for you to give more time to aspects of your life that are often neglected. Having some rest from a long stressful year will allow you to go back to work with a renewed passion and energy. When you don’t take the time to relieve stress, you can end up struggling to be effective in the classroom.
Much like airplane safety instructions, teachers need to put their own oxygen masks on first before helping others. You need to focus on caring for your own wellness before you can support and care for your students.
Let’s take a closer look at why the summer is so important for teacher wellness.
When you’re at school, you’re constantly thinking and planning what do to next. That habit can spill over into the school break. Your brain, however, needs some time to rest and relax, so give it time to switch off. Consider getting away from your emails and daily school-year habits. It will help you to reconnect with yourself and your family. Take a nap, read a book, sleep in and enjoy the benefits of your break. A well-rested teacher is a happy teacher. When you’re happy, you will become more productive and patient when you go back to work.
It’s important to take a part of your summer to slow down and find a new rhythm. It’s easy, as an educator, to give so much of yourself away to others that you forget to take care of your basic needs. Get back into the habit of running or hiking or doing yoga. Try cycling, swimming or going for a walk to connect with nature. The summer can be a time when you can hit the reset button and focus on your own physical and mental health. This will become beneficial for you, your organisation and most importantly, for your students.
Do you remember the last time you enjoyed doing hobbies? Take time to try something new. This could be baking, crafting, paddle boarding, dancing, cycling or whatever it is that makes you happy. You give so much of yourself to others, now is the time to focus on yourself. Your energy and newly acquired skills will help you to plan something new and exciting for your students.
Although it’s totally fine to spend your summer on a true holiday, it’s also fine to spend part of your summer in your own professional development. Use your time to attend a workshop for something you’re interested in and become a student for change. Read a professional book, seek out fresh resources and surround yourself with people who also love to teach and are armed with new ideas to implement. This can really help reignite your passion for teaching and prevent teacher burnout.
Being a dedicated teacher is a wonderful thing. But remember, you also have to take care of yourself to be the best teacher that you can be. You’ve poured your heart and soul into this school year, don’t feel guilty for resting. It’s what your students need.