There’s mixed emotions that come with completing a school year. It’s always sad to say goodbye to the students and people that you’ve come to love as you’ve helped them overcome challenges and spent such a significant amount of time with. But there’s also a huge feeling of relief and satisfaction that comes with the knowledge that you have a clean slate. Knowing that you are free of any of the burdens that were placed on you during the school year. Knowing that you don’t have to come home and grade papers. Knowing that you don’t have to hear from that difficult parent anymore. Your current concerns are wiped away and your brain can focus on something new.
During the summer you get to enjoy relaxing, reading, spending time with your family or friends; but you might feel a lack of purpose or a sense of boredom with your sudden increase of extra time.
To everything good and worthwhile in life, there also comes challenges. You wanted to be a teacher and you enjoy being a teacher, but there is no doubt that teaching is full of challenges. You probably looked forward to your well-earned summer break, but you may want more purpose to your day now.
The challenge of life isn’t not having what you want… it’s learning how to find the good in every situation. To every situation in life, there is good. Sometimes we have to work harder to find the good. Sometimes the good is simply the lessons we learn from the challenge. But to all situations, if you choose to make the right choice… good things will come.
So, with your extra time this summer: get as much as possible out of it.
I’ve found that when I’m about to spend my time on something like TV or the latest game app, things that I can logically surmise are of little worth, if I take the time to pause and come up with an option that I do believe would add value to my life, I can always come up with a better alternative.
You could spend an hour on Facebook OR you could call a friend for lunch and enjoy getting to know them better.
You could spend four hours playing Candy Crush and gain nothing but the completion of a few more levels OR you could spend four hours on Reading Horizons Online Reading Workshop (free for 30-days!) learning research-based strategies for teaching beginning and struggling readers… training that could decrease the stress you’ll feel in the next school year.
You could read a romance novel OR you could read a book that will help you become a better person or teacher. (Here are some favorites from the Reading Horizons Book Club: Great by Choice, Leadership and Self-Deception, Outliers)
While reviewing some of our past blog posts, I found the one written last year by our Reading Specialist, Stacy Hurst, to celebrate the end of the school year. As I reread it the concluding sentence really stood out to me:
What is my advice for summer reading? Choose wisely. We become what we read.
The summer is free for you to do what you want with it. But… if you take the time to pause and think about how you’re spending each moment: you’ll realize how you can make it even better.
Before you completely jump into summer, we’d love for you to take a few minutes to reflect and fill out a short survey with a few of your insights from this past school year.
NOTE: At the end of the survey you will be able to review the responses of other teachers (all will be anonymous) so you can see what did and didn’t work for them as well!
P.S. If you're involved with summer school, here are some downloadable guides that you can use to implement the Reading Horizons program over the summer months.