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7 Ideas for a Productive Summer

Summer vacation is finally here, and as a teacher (or any member of school staff), you have more than earned some much-needed rest and relaxation after a busy school year.

However, if you’re getting a little stir-crazy and want some engaging and fulfilling activities, here are seven ways you can be productive this summer while still enjoying your time off:

  1. Spend More Time on Your Hobbies
    Whether you’re a painter, musician, or have been wanting to learn something new, summer vacation is a great time to dive into your hobbies. Depending on your skill level and the amount of time you want to dedicate to your craft, you can sell your creations online through a marketplace like Etsy or in an artist market in your area to make some extra cash.
  2. Volunteer Your Time
    If you find yourself with extra time over the summer, consider volunteering with a local organization. Participating in community service offers many social and emotional benefits, even if you just give a small amount of your time. If you have children, bring them along to teach them about the importance of supporting and serving their community, while engaging them in a valuable activity outside of the house!
  3. Schedule Your Annual Health & Self-Care Appointments
    It may not be the most exciting way to spend your vacation, but it can be a practical use of your time off to schedule your regular dentist, physical, and any other routine health appointments during the summer. Save your days off during the school year for when you really need them, not for the annual appointments you can schedule while you’re on break.
  4. Work At a Summer Camp
    After a whole year of teaching, you might be ready to take a break from children, the structure of school, and most of all––being on your feet all day. However, if you’re still passionate about serving youth year-round, consider working at a summer camp. Camps are often in search of experienced educators to fit directing, programming, and planning positions.
  5. Catch Up on Your Reading List
    During the school year, it can be hard to find time to sit down and read and listening to audiobooks during your commute and free time can only make so much of a dent in your reading list. Summer is a great time to catch up on your ever-growing reading list, whether you choose to read books for pleasure or professional development.
  6. Join a Class or Club
    Summer break is a great time to sign up for classes, lessons, or clubs that you can’t fit into your schedule during the school year, especially activities that always take place during school hours. Whether you want to join a fitness club––many offer discounts for educators––or take a ceramics course at a community college, now is the time!
  7. Get a Part-Time Job or a Side-Gig
    Summer vacation offers a great opportunity to relax, but if you want or need to continue working throughout the summer for extra income, there are many ways to do it. While many educators choose to spend their summers working in seasonal retail or food service jobs, there are many other part-time opportunities that pay well, value your education and credentials, and help you build connections and learn new skills throughout the summer.

No matter how you choose to spend your summer vacation, be sure to focus on your personal needs and wellbeing first and foremost. As educators, we often spend the entire school year dedicated to the success and wellbeing of our students, but summer vacation is the time to do the things that fulfill you outside the classroom, helping you re-regulate yourself and energizing you for a new semester in the fall.