5 Ways That Summer Makes Me a Better Teacher

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Ahhhh….It’s summer!! Glorious glorious summer.  Time to exhale, time to regroup, time to recharge, and one of my MOST favorite times of the year for so many reasons. Here are my Top 5 reasons why we should savor every moment, and how summer somehow manages to make me a better teacher each year:

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It can be utterly exhilarating to channel 100% of your love and energy into one place.

Last night, we stayed up until 9:30 watching Zootopia as a family.  We ate countless popsicles and I read Beau’s truck book to him five times, per his request.  I then lay in bed with my five year old daughter, Ellie, and we “pillow-talked” for almost thirty minutes.  Granted, it was WAY past her bedtime, but we told silly stories, tickled backs, sang songs, prayed extra long, giggled, and giggled more, because there was NO impending stress, exhaustion, and doom of the 5:45am wakeup call this morning.
Summer always manages to make me feel like an exceptional wife and mother because it’s the one time of year that I can truly give my family my undivided attention.  We can make the small moments even more special.  I get to spend my entire day being only a wife and mom,  and as my dear friend Kambra, always reminds me, “There are no children more important in the world than your own.”

e and b

(I told my husband that 20 years down the road, when I picture my kids being “little,” this image is what I’ll remember.)

Take this precious time during the summer to cook dinners for your family, have picnic lunches, swim at night, and count stars.  You’ll love yourself more for it and your family will cherish each moment with you.

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Oh, sweet sweet organization.  It feels SO good. Your home, your classroom, your car, your LIFE! Why is it that from August to May, getting our life in order definitely goes by the wayside?  I seriously hung up a basket of clothes in my closet yesterday that I’m fairly sure has been there since February.  And my car?!! Don’t even get me started.  I cleaned out random back to school PD materials from SEPTEMBER, and it pretty much appeared that two little toddler hobos had been living in it for the past 9 months.  Next up?? My home office, if you can even call it that amidst the sea of toys and Target Dollar Spot items.

office

{CRINGE!!!}

Come July, I’ll get to work with another organization overhaul in my classroom. There’s nothing like kicking off a school year with nice, neat cabinets, filed papers, purged junk, and actually knowing where EVERY supply is in your classroom. And late summer is the perfect time to do it! Embrace it and celebrate when you can step back, gaze at your straightened, beautiful, organized shelves and sigh in satisfaction.  This was my BIG organization overhaul that I tackled last summer with fabulous new project cases: (Click to read the post)

PROJECT CASES PIN

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What?! You mean that I can take as long as I want to eat lunch?  And I can eat it at an actual restaurant with my family or teacher friends?? Not to mention use the bathroom whenever I please?  Now that’s my idea of heaven!  But don’t just savor the small things.  Stay up late and sleep in as much as possible. (Non-teacher moms, especially! SLEEP. IN. WHILE. YOU. CAN.) Watch every single episode of The Bachelorette and Big Brother and group text your teacher friends about all the juicy details.  Splurge on that pedicure.  Read a book for PLEASURE! Open the sunroof and crank up that music.  Lay by the pool and get a TAN, for goodness sakes! And enjoy some adult beverages while you’re at it.  Summer is your time to INDULGE and relax because Lord knows that once you’ve switched into school mode (or “in the zone” as my husband calls it), you may not even have time to tweeze your eyebrows.  Use this time to rejoin society, not to mention make yourself feel beautiful and HUMAN again.

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There’s nothing that motivates me more or improves my teaching than trying something NEW in my classroom, and the middle of fall ain’t the time to try it! After you’ve recharged, use your time to attend a conference or workshop for something YOU are actually interested in, read that Ron Clark book that’s been on your nightstand since November, and seek out fresh resources.  It’s YOUR time, so use it to your advantage and feed your passion.  I always love to have more time and choices for professional development without the pressure of putting it into practice the very next day with a new group of students.  This summer, I’m researching and reading up Kagan cooperative learning strategies, project based learning, and RCA, all while laying by the pool, of course.

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April and May very often serve as a yearly death sentence for even the most dedicated teachers. Something about state testing (and more state testing), end of year reporting and assessments, mile-long checklists, and attempting to keep 25 little bodies and minds engaged and in control is enough to make us develop facial ticks.  I usually need three cups of coffee per day to survive the end of the year madness.
BUT after we’ve (almost) completely checked out of school mode during June, something magical happens around the Fourth of July to rekindle our flame for the love of teaching.  Maybe it’s the shiny new school supply aisles that start popping up in stores.  Maybe it’s fresh new TpT resources, or the darling catalogs from Lakeshore Learning Store and Carson Dellosa that trigger an immediate classroom décor daydream. (Don’t lie…Something truly ignites inside you when you find the “perfect” new classroom theme.)  And maybe it’s the anticipation of a new, bright-eyed group of students that we will meet in the fall. Regardless, middle to late summer is our time to remember WHY we love what we do and mentally reengage for a fresh new start to our year.

How does summer make you a better teacher, and a better person? I’d love to read your comments.

Happy SUMMER, sweet teacher friends! You’ve earned it!

Beautiful Styled Images by Jen Jones of Hello Literacy and Fonts by Kimberly Geswein.

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