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Five things teachers need to do this summer​

As we come to the end of another school year, it is time for all educators to take some time to breathe, relax and reflect. There are not many professions that have defined beginnings and endings every year. Educators need to take advantage of this opportunity in order to better themselves by paying attention to their wellbeing in addition to fine-tuning and updating their craft. Here are five things every teacher needs to do this summer.

De-clutter your classroom

Does your classroom look like an episode of the TV show The Hoarder Next Door? Do you have boxes and boxes of supplies, papers and projects piled high up on cabinets and in every nook and cranny across the room? Do not worry. You are not alone. Take this opportunity to go through your materials and get rid of what you are no longer using. Classrooms can be filled with old, antiquated ideas and materials that have not been used in years. Get rid of them! If you cannot part with everything, get rid of two to three things. This will help start the de-cluttering process.

Reflect on your school year

Here is another opportunity to take advantage of specific starting and ending points in our profession. Make time with a colleague to reflect upon the school year. Discuss what worked, what did not work, and what you will do differently next year. This process will help bring closure to one year and set you up for the next year.

Spend time with adults

I know this one sounds strange, but hear me out. As teachers, we spend our entire day with children. From the early morning until the late afternoon, we interact with very few adults. Take time over the summer to have adult conversations. This is good for your wellbeing.

Go to lunch on a Tuesday

I do not know about you, but towards the end of every school year, I would scream if I had to eat another packed lunch from home. The mere sight of a turkey sandwich brought tears to my eyes. Most people do not understand that teachers cannot go out for lunch. We just do not have the time. Do it over the summer! Go out to lunch on a weekday! Be an adult!

Read a book for fun

Teachers spend most of the year hyper-focused on their students and instruction. Teachers are constantly engaged in book studies, grading assignments, and learning new instructional strategies. Take some time this summer for you. Read a book. A fiction book. Give your mind a break!

Dr David Franklin is an award winning school administrator, education professor, curriculum designer and presenter.

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