But while teachers have certainly earned a break after nine months of busting their body, hearts, minds, and souls in some of the most important work imaginable, summer time is also a great time for The 4 Rs—reflection, relaxation, renewal, and radical self-care.
Here are some questions to get you thinking, starting first and foremost with the question teachers never want to think about: What can you do—right now—to take care of YOU?
Here are a few others to get you going:
What went well last year?
What new thing did you do this year that you will DEFINITELY do again next year?
How can you make it better?
How can you CELEBRATE your accomplishments?
What seemed essential this year, but just wasn’t?
What can you get rid of? What can you jettison to create more space for your passion?
What is in your classroom, physically, that you can do without to create more space?
What is one thing you want to try or experiment with next year?
How can you get to your favorite place more often in the next few months?
How can you see that particular person more often who you hardly ever see, but who always makes you feel better?
How can you enhance your plans for renewal this June, July, and August?
How can you be more present in each of your moments?
How can you increase the activities you WANT to do?
How can you decrease the activities you DON’T WANT to do?*
How can you carve out some time for non-doing?
What can you participate in (books, workshops, conferences, classes, internet research, podcasts, etc.) that will make you a better TEACHER** in the fall?
What can you participate in (vacations, meditation, beach, mountains, camping, etc.) that will make you a better PERSON** in the fall?
What can you do (now that it’s summer) that you just haven’t had time for because of your classroom obligations all year? Now go do it.***
What can you do to show GRATITUDE for the year you have had and to be appreciative of the time and space you will get during these next three months that not every working person is allowed?
This is far from an exhaustive list of questions, but I hope it will get you thinking about the rare opportunity you have during the next few months to sit back, take a breath, enjoy your accomplishments, renew your mind, body, and spirit, and look forward to a fall that will come for you with maybe just a smidgeon more peace and tranquility. TZT
* I realize, of course, that we all have obligations over the summer, too.
***painting, horseback riding, quilting, writing, One Direction karaoke, what?