Now that school is over, how do you recharge your batteries to face another year after the summer break? After my last student departs from my classroom in May, I set this goal: Update everything in the next five days or less! I get all of my summer print jobs into the print shop, update the syllabi and lesson plans for my classes on each class website for the first 4–6 weeks of August/September, and send out a general message that I will not be checking the school email—my administration knows how to contact me if it’s urgent. I also like to pack what I will need for the first three to five days of school in dated and labeled individual boxes (kind of like opening up a present to myself at the start of the new school year).
By doing all of these tedious—but necessary—things while I am still in school mode, I can then truly unwind at the end of my five-day challenge knowing that all will be ready for me upon my return to face the new school year. I suggest you follow these seven tips to recharge your batteries:
- Unplug: Take more than a week or two—make it more like 4–5 weeks—to decompress and enjoy time with friends and family. Write “NO WORK” on your calendars (all of them, including your phone!) and stick to it. That includes no surfing the Internet for new ideas to use in your classroom, reading teaching strategy books while at the beach or blogs at night at the cabin, or updating your Mimio presentations during the annual family summer reunion.
- Schedule time for yourself: Along with scheduling sports camp, swimming lessons, etc. for your kids, you also need time for yourself to do something really different—like volunteering for a charity, church, or other organization that interests you.
- Get some Vitamin D: Take advantage of the extended sunlight to increase your energy level. Find time to take a “me” break of 10–15 minutes each day to get some natural sunlight, which provides you with a good dose of Vitamin D. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
- Change your venue: For me, this means going camping—whether it’s the mountains, desert, beach, or high plains. Simply reconnecting with nature with no watch, no cell phone, or no Internet recharges my soul.
- Get in touch with your natural sleep cycle: Consider letting your cell phone analyze your sleep and wake you up in the lightest sleep phase—the natural way to wake up feeling rested. This app does all the work for you!
- Permit yourself to occasionally stay up late: Personally, I love to go to the only drive-in movie theater left in my hometown with friends. There is something about sitting in a car, munching on homemade popcorn or those great hot dogs from the concession stand, watching 3–4 movies in a row 'til the wee hours of the morning, and joking with friends or family during the flick that helps me totally unwind from any stress.
- Create a new habit (like eating differently!): Eat small snacks throughout the day with lean protein and carbohydrates to keep up energy levels, and trade in your java for hot or iced green tea. The caffeine is absorbed more slowly and will provide you with a steadier boost of energy over a long period of time.
Have a great recharged summer—and don't forget to open up your "first day back to school box" as a present to yourself. Want more tips and tricks to help ease you back into reality after the summer? Subscribe to our Mimio Educator blog today!