As the school bell rings for the last time this year, we send our students off to relax and recharge this summer. We tell them to enjoy their well-deserved break, but we also encourage them to keep their minds fresh and not lose sight of all the learning that occurred over the past year. Pretty sound advice, right? If we apply that same line of reasoning to our own lives, we can glean a lot from our time away from the classroom.
We looked back over our thoughts and ideas for kids and found some great topics that can apply to the lifelong learner in all of us. With just a little tweaking, we can turn these ideas and activities into meaningful opportunities for ourselves. Reawaken the spark that drew you into teaching, and see the possibilities this summer through the eyes of a learner.
A Jump Start for Careers of the Future
If education isn’t a career of the future, I don’t know what is. While we stay on top of all the trends and changes in pedagogy, we also need to stay in tune with the evolution of technology. If this weren't the case, you'd still see an abacus in every math class! As we shared in our blog, a diverse skill set is the key. Enhance your educational repertoire this summer with a class, workshop, or a great read. Edutopia goes old school with a new idea, Technology Summer Camp1. Check out some of those tech ideas you didn’t have time to explore during the school year!
Raising Lifelong Readers
Just as we want kids to become lifelong readers, we need to continue to fuel that fire in ourselves. With no papers to grade or lessons to write, journey far and wide this summer through the pages of a book. Rekindle or bring an initial spark to a love of reading. Whether it’s the latest bestseller or reconnecting with an old favorite, never forget the wonder and escape that can be found in books. Having trouble finding a title that’s just right for you? Follow our steps to Finding the Right Book for the Reluctant Reader. There are some great methods to help even the most avid readers find a new favorite.
Summer is the perfect time to reflect on healthy living. Our post for kids has some great takeaways no matter what your age. Get cooking, keep moving, and limit viewing should all be on the agenda this summer.
Get Cooking - If you find yourself falling into bad eating habits over the course of the school year, summer is the perfect time to try out some new quick and easy meals on the family. You can uncover some go-to meals for the on-the-go school year schedule. These 30 crockpot recipes from Family Fresh Meals2 are sure to inspire a few family favorites.
Keep Moving - As adults our biggest workout excuse is an inability to find the time. Carve out some time this summer, and a renewed interest in fitness may just encourage you to find the time for continuing a regimen during the hectic school year. Increasing activity levels will increase energy levels, and we all know high energy is a must for captivating our student audiences.
Limit Viewing - While summer is a great time to clear the DVR queue or binge watch a little Netflix, don’t let that monopolize your free time. Be an active learner and enjoy the wonder of the great outdoors or tackle that home improvement project that you didn’t have time for during the school year. Don’t watch your summer; experience it!
Service & Volunteerism
In a past article we discussed how building empathy for others through serving and volunteering is a great lesson for kids to learn. Being a role model for this life lesson is a great way to spend some time this summer. Participating in a charity walk/run, clearing the clutter by making donations, and helping out a neighbor in need will make great talking points as you get to know your students this fall. The best way to help kids understand that warm fuzzy feeling that happens when you do something kind for others is to be able to tell them about it from firsthand experience.
Robert John Meehan said it best, "Your life as a teacher begins the day you realize that you are always a learner." Reawaken that spark with our trip down memory lane. As you relax and recharge like a kid, you’ll experience a whole new appreciation for summer!
If you enjoyed the thoughts and ideas shared here, check out the trainings and tools (for teachers and for families) that we offer.
Additional Resources & Works Cited
1. Technology Summer Camp
2. Family Fresh Meals