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Making the Most of Summer: 5 Ways to Maximize the Break

“Summertime and the living’s easy…”

Students aren’t in school during the summer, why would teachers, or administrators be?

Are you kidding me?

For a lot of educators, especially administrators, summer is among the busiest (and most productive) times of year. It’s a time to recharge, hone old skills, learn new ones, and plan ahead.

New research shows that most educators spend nearly the entire summer engaged in school planning or continuing education.

As we enter the middle of July, you may still be planning the rest of your summer. If you are, make sure you’re using your time wisely.

Here are five ways to make your summer meaningful, both personally and professionally:

1. Plan ahead
It might feel like the summer just started, but the new school year will be here before you know it. Educators do a lot of planning throughout the year. Summertime gives teachers and administrators time to concentrate on big classroom or policy changes.

Whether it’s creating new learning goals, developing new curricula, scheduling lesson plans, or perfecting new projects, use this time to reflect on the successes and failures of the previous schoolyear and make improvements for the upcoming one.

2. Continue your professional development
Take advantage of the summertime to enroll in an extended training course, say, a new certification or an advanced degree program.

Don’t view professional development as an annual hassle that needs to be checked off a list. Use these opportunities pursue your professional passions and discover new approaches to teaching and school leadership.

Do your homework. Seriously. Identify PD courses that are practical, engaging, and useful. Pursue education that matters to your career.

3. Attend a conference
There’s no shortage of education conferences out there—especially during the spring and summer months. Each one has a unique focus.

Want to learn more about educational technology, school design and planning, or emerging learning strategies? There’s a conference for that.

Conferences are also a great opportunity to meet like-minded educators, share ideas, and network. So be sure to take full advantage.

4. Read up
Apart from grading essays and tests, how much reading do you get done during the school year? Probably not as much as you’d like.

Make time during the summer to read—whether for pleasure or for professional development. Read that novel that’s been sitting on your shelf, or the latest research on student learning, or how about a daily blog about school leadership (There’s an idea!)

5. Relax
Go ahead, you’ve earned it.

Take that trip, start that new hobby, or just sleep in (for a day or two). When you’re recharged and ready, get right back to what you do best: helping students.

What steps are you taking to make the most of summer break, personally or professionally? Tell us in the comments.

Want to provide an easy way for staff and teachers to stay engaged with your district this summer? Ask them to weigh in on your professional development courses or share what they’ve learned.