Top 10 list for Teachers in the Summer

collage of pictures from a beach to a duck to a homemade tote with a horse photo
Looking across Lake Seymour, with personal, small boats in the background, there is a pair of legs sticking up out of the water.
Underwater handstand

There are all sorts of memes floating the internet about how teachers spend their summers and realistically the ones about sleep and “Hey parents, tag you’re it!” are true for the first week. But let’s talk about this a little more seriously, if I were to create a Top Ten List for my teacher-friends and I, it might look like this:

10 – Put away the school stuff. You packed up your classroom, you recycled lots, and you found that great activity plan  you misplaced. You loaded your car, your bag, and a few arm loads later, this mess is in your house.

Yes, you want to plan ahead this summer so your next year is smooth, but pack it away right now. Find that safe place, easy to access, but out of the way. Put it to bed for at least two weeks, maybe a month. You need time for you, right now. Recover, Re-energize, then create.

9 – Don’t get dressed – your comfort level dictates this, but we all have our comfort clothes. Maybe you’re like me and don’t get out of your pj’s for two days (unless you HAVE to go to the store). I do suggest you brush your teeth, brush your hair, and wear deodorant, but otherwise enjoy not getting dressed to look “appropriate” go full on “comfort”.

Then, when you have recovered some of your normal personality, go to your casual dress. Is it shorts and a T-shirt? Summer dress? Jeans, sweatshirt, and a baseball cap? Dress so you don’t even notice what you’re wearing. In fact, remove everything you don’t want to wear from your dresser and the front of your closet.

8 – Laundry – Get caught up on that household chore that just had minimal necessary effort before. For me that’s laundry because it never ends with my family of six. For others it’s decorating by season, and for one friend of mine, it’s deep cleaning her fridge, freezer, and counters. The point is that we all have those chores that get pushed down the list of priorities and now is time to get caught up.

The sun is glittering off Lake Willoughby from a semi-private beach. Mt Hor is in the background
Sun sparkles at the lake

7 – Time to check your health. Revisit your goals. What fell by the wayside whether from time constraints or weather or lack of energy.

Do you need to begin cardio again? Make it summer fun (hello lake-swimming and river paddling!). Is it strength training? Buy a couple kettlebells and YouTube or Pinterest some new workouts. Diet? Go ahead and eat the junk foods you haven’t had time for, or exist on grilled cheese while you recover. Then get back in the swing of eating healthier and bam! You will feel better. So much summer produce to enjoy!

a card from my Cuz with a sweet note
A note we received, I’m not the only one catching up!

6 – Reconnect – For some people, June is the month they send out many belated cards and notes. For me, it’s more a time to reconnect via social media. I finally installed Instagram on my “new” phone (I’ve had it for about two months!). On Facebook I’ve gone back and caught up on friends’ pages, I’ve posted a few catch-up posts, and finally looking for new groups to join. There is actually time to read group posts. I have actually been reading homesteading, animal care, and teaching posts. I have better ideas to share now than I did in May.

5 – Bingewatch those shows that come on Sunday nights or after 9pm. So far I’ve watched: Suits, The Outlander (great book series btw!), and The 100. This plan works even better if you are a crafter and can crochet or something while you watch. (See some of my crafts here.)I have almost finished a market bag and I have completed a few hats. And of course, while watching tv, you want to snack on yumminess…

4 – All those recipes you pinned and saved. Now you finally have time. You know, the healthy ones you didn’t have the energy to make during the school weeks, the luscious desserts you were craving, the light salads of summer, the snacks you can actually savor and enjoy not inhale while waiting for the copier. You can even create those adult beverages that you desperately crave about 2 pm (or maybe that’s just me).
I have an abundance of eggs currently $3/dozen if you want some fresh! So I found this light desert Meringue cookies and tried this “Chip” recipe. The cookies I’ll make again but not the chips.

3 – You can finally set your own schedule and use the bathroom whenever you want, not based around planning periods and your 15 minute lunch break. Therefore, you can actually drink enough water through the day instead of all in the afternoon (and peeing all night). Plus all the coffee and wine you want.

Surprise, look how better you feel and look. Your skin and hair regain their luster and maybe you lose that stubborn five pounds.

2 – Fun Reading. This means you read for pure enjoyment not Professional Development, not to test a book for classroom inclusion, not so you can converse with students comparing it to the movies…This reading is for you!

The difficult choice is whether to first read something fluffy while you get back in enjoyment-reading/brain, or do you dive right into that book you have been saving and submerge in that story that has been trading you for months.

1 – Sleeping In. This could be its own category of Top Ten: sleeping late, getting up early with nothing to do, staying up late and sleeping in, naps…

This could take a while to achieve. Our bodies are so programmed to wake up at 5am. Instead of our eyes popping open one minute before the alarm, and thinking about emails to send, a back-up to the main lesson, how to differentiate the secondary lesson for those couple kids, and who has recess duty (not to mention the weather!) instead you can roll over, snuggle deeper, and go back to sleep. This may take practice but by the time you are good at it, you will drop right back into your old habits and be ready for school.

So what was your first priority of summer vacation? Were you like me and sleep was a necessity if not a first choice? Let me know your most needed and most wanted activities of summer break.

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