Dear Teachers, Cheer up because the best time of year has arrived: summers. Hence it’s time for the annual Summer Break! This is the time of year when there are no papers to grade, no alarm clocks, and most important of all: you have ample time in hand for yourself.
For some of you, the break has already begun, while some of you are eagerly waiting for it! Well, wherever you stand on the summer situation, this blog has something for you!
Read this blog to prepare yourself to make these days both fun and productive and tackle summer with ease.
Things to do Pre-Summer
1. Prepare Summer Worksheets
Plan and prepare fun and engaging summer activity worksheets for your students. You can focus on skills such as communication, critical thinking, focused learning and so much more! For example, you can invite students to reflect on a classroom incident that made them feel in a certain manner and ask them to share their suggestions and appreciate students for their critical thinking skills in the same context.
This would allow students to utilise their time meaningfully while developing requisite skills in an engaging manner. You can even make a soft copy of these worksheets and share them with the parents to keep them in the loop.
2. Plan a Summer Programme
Take charge and implement a high-quality summer programme for your students. Talk to the relevant stakeholders (management, fellow teachers, counsellors, and maintenance committee) about the programme details to ensure smooth operations. This would also reflect well on your resume and widen your horizons for more responsibilities in the future.
Before summer begins, let your students know about the programme and its benefits so they will have time to consider it and decide with ease.
3. Do your Research
Teachers, it’s time for a To-do List! Summer is a great time to plan out what you want to do and what you hope to accomplish. Attending a concert, going on a vacation, or taking an art class are all possibilities. Taking a little time to plan and research can set you up for a fun and successful holiday season. Plan it in a balanced manner to ensure you de-stress as well as take advantage of this time for some meaningful professional development.
4. Make an Arrangement to Stay in Touch
Students who stay connected with their teachers are more likely to work hard, behave well, and be open to new ideas. The same applies to the parents. Parents are more likely to support the mission and teachers of a school when they have a connection with teachers. As teachers, you spend all year building and nurturing relationships with our students and their families. The summer shouldn't be any different.
Plan your point of contact and engagement strategy before the summer waves hit you! You can make a WhatsApp group, prepare an email schedule or plan virtual meetup sessions to stay connected to students and families during the holidays!
Things to do During the Summer
1. Catch up on your Reading
During the school year, we are just so busy, that it’s difficult to find the time to read for pleasure, much less read for professional development. Summer is the perfect time to catch up on your reading list. Make sure to read at least one book that would improve your teaching and your student's progress in learning. You can also include some fictional books to your list to savour some fun.
To include your students on the reading front, you can even start a reading group where you discuss books, literature and other content on a weekly basis virtually.
2. Revamp yourself as an Educator
Skip Pinacoladas? Well, why not!
Use the time in hand to revamp and update yourself and your teaching practices. You can watch youtube videos, collaborate with fellow educators and even start your own online community of like-minded teachers with the same goal.
You will be surprised how this can enhance your teaching in the coming year. Here is a playlist you can watch over the holidays to help you accomplish this goal!
3. Upskill Yourself
You stand for 45 minutes in front of the classroom and deliver a lesson in your best capacity; yet fail to engage your students. Oh! Dear lord! Why aren't my students asking questions in my class? This is probably the most common dilemma you face. Identify the issues you face in your classroom and search for fixes for those issues. By enrolling yourself in an upskilling course this summer you can become a far more effective and efficient teacher!
This Free Course on Questioning Skills is a great place to start. You may also want to find and identify even places where your students are making similar mistakes and take courses to address such issues.
4. Look for Opportunities Abroad
Summer is an excellent time to explore overseas teaching opportunities because you will have plenty of time to research. While this is a more self-driven process; you can always seek guidance from a faculty advisor or your mentor.
Things to do Post-Summer
1. Re-engage Students
It’s the last day of Summer. Tomorrow you’ll be back to school, standing in front of your students. Like every other teacher, you would want your students to dive into the conversation with enthusiasm. A quick, creative discussion warm-up activity can help get their wheels turning and make the discussion pop.
This can be about how you’ve missed your students or talking about their growth over the holidays. How you spend your first ten minutes would set the mood for the upcoming days, hence it is important to plan in advance for the first day and first discussion post the break!
2. Communicate your Goals and Expectations
After a break, students are usually unsure how to start again. It's important that your students know what to do, how to do it, why to do it, and much more moving forward. Ensure you communicate all learning goals and objectives clearly, so students have a purpose in mind. You can dictate the schedule and major activities for the upcoming syllabus for your students. You will be glad you did this before you jumped onto the teaching part.
3. Use your New Skills
Showcase and apply your newly acquired teaching skills and techniques. You can do so by volunteering to take on responsibilities outside of your day-to-day duties and occasionally stepping out of your comfort zone to broadcast your competence. You can even design a self-reflective sheet to analyse your progress as a Teacher
Finally, remember that it’s up to you to decide how you want to spend your summer. As much as it is important to indulge in professional development, it’s equally important to de-stress and relax too!
Hope you make fun memories for yourself and have great holidays free of stress and toll.
Well, let’s make a deal: Have a little fun and have a little learning, and make this summer, the best it has to be! Deal?
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Simran is a writer here at Suraasa and has formerly worked as a Teacher. She is passionate about learning and making a difference through her words.
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