The old joke goes that the three best things about teaching are June, July, and August. And the truth is, we’re pretty lucky to have those three months and they are, generally speaking, pretty darned good.
But it’s also safe to say that the general public has exactly zero idea how diligently teachers work during the summer to bring the magic back to their new students in the fall. They attend workshops, they plan, they read, and even when they DO go on vacation, they find themselves taking photos, journaling, and even picking up or purchasing little bits of this and that and saying, “this will be so great for my class next year.” 

Sometimes it’s hard to turn the Teaching  switch to the “off” position.
As a result, most teachers I know work extremely hard during the year to bring a powerful learning experience to their students, but even when things wind down a bit, they often forego some well-earned “me” time.

So it has become a part of my mission to remind teachers that they are important, too, and if they don’t take care of themselves and give themselves time to recuperate from the school year, they might find themselves running out of steam long before their time.
So here’s your reminder: summer is a wonderful time to take care of yourself. To pursue those activities, goals, and aspirations that renew your spirit. To follow those roads that recharge your batteries. To partake in some of those soul-fulfilling things that, in short, make you happy.
So what will you do this summer just for you?

  • Read?
  • Write?
  • Bike?
  • Quilt?
  • Binge watch The Rockford Files*
  • Watch sunsets over the ocean?
  • Climb a mountain/Hike a trail/swim an ocean?
  • Nap?
  • Workout?
  • Sing Karaoke from the This is Spinal Tap soundtrack*?

What will it be? The choice is entirely yours!
Recently, I was talking with another teacher and we were lamenting about how so many people–both teachers and”civilians”–are always putting off the things they want to do, the goals they have, the activities that would make them happy and they say things like  “maybe when it’s a better time,” “maybe next weekend,” “maybe when the kids are older,” or in the case of teachers, “maybe next summer.”

And I get that.
Life is busy.
But life is also finite.

And it’s easier than you think to run out of “Maybes.”
So now that it is, in fact, your actual summer. . .
Look at your calendar.
Remove one thing that shouldn’t be there.
And fill the empty space with something that you’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t quite got around to doing. 
Or, if you’d rather. . .
Fill that space with absolutely nothing.
Take a walk.                            
Go to the park.
Get some ice cream, sit in the strip mall, and people watch.
Lie on your lawn in the backyard and look at the clouds.
Waste some time.
You’ve totally earned it.
And besides. . .
When it comes right down to it. . .
Maybe the best thing you can bring back to your classroom in the fall is a better you. TZT
*These activities may or may not be part of my summer Zen Practice.