Teaching can be very rewarding. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose like few professions can. But teaching has a lot of tangible benefits as well, and perhaps the most appealing of all is summer vacation. June, July and August teachers have almost three months to use as they see fit. During this time, you can of course look forward to vacationing with your family, catching up with friends and taking some well deserved time to yourself but there is much more you can do with your summer away from the classroom.
Summer vacation is a chance to relax, but it is also a chance to reflect upon the previous year, prepare for the year to come and enrich your teaching skills. Here are seven popular ways teachers can make the most of their summer months:
- Continue Your Education
- Teach Abroad
- Attend Seminars or Workshops
- Teach Summer School or Work at a Summer Program
- Private Tutoring
- Plan For Next Year
- Find New Ways to Get Involved at Your Own School
If you’re thinking of pursuing an advanced degree, such as a Master in Teaching or a Master of Education, use your three-month vacation to enroll in classes to further your education. With online Master in Teaching and online Master in Education programs now available from renowned universities, it’s more convenient than ever before to advance your teaching career and keep up with classes once summer is over. With an advanced degree, you may enjoy an increase in salary, master your field of expertise and, with the additional training and experience, go from being a teacher to becoming a great teacher.
Have you ever wanted to go abroad but never had the opportunity? Do you want to return to a country you fell in love with during a brief visit? Your time off during the summer is the perfect chance! But why just travel? Why not continue helping students while experiencing a foreign culture and honing your teaching abilities all the while being paid to do so? There are a lot of international programs for Americans to teach abroad and many have summer programs. To learn more about teaching abroad, visit our Teaching Abroad page.
Going to teacher development workshops, seminars and conventions during the summer is important to stay up to date with the latest developments in teaching, expand your knowledge in your particular area of expertise and network with other educators. Your school will likely have information about such events, but the Internet also hosts a plethora of information. For example: College Board endorses many teaching workshops, as does the National Endowment for the Humanities; visit their websites to find out about upcoming events.
A lot of teachers simply keep teaching during the summer. You can teach summer classes at your school, a nearby community college or at a day camp or summer program. Summer Study offers pre-college preparation for students, and there are many other similar programs that run through the summer and are looking for great, enthusiastic teachers to help students prepare for college. Just because the school year ends, doesn’t mean students stop learning or you have to stop teaching.
A great way to continue doing what you love is to privately tutor individual students. You can dedicate time during the week to help students in your community who are having difficulty with a certain subject. You’ll be demonstrating your commitment to education and dedication to students, and you’ll be doing something truly worthwhile with your time off.
Once you’ve taught a full school year, you’ll discover how easy it is to get swept up in the commotion of your daily schedule. Planning your lessons, building your curriculum and researching subjects can be difficult to keep up with so why not get a head start? Use your summer to plan for the coming school year. You’ll be surprised how much time it’ll free up when classes start. Start with brushing up on some reading: the latest professional guides and maybe even popular books kids today are reading. This will help you stay abreast of the latest developments in teaching, and maybe come up with fun and exciting readings for your students. Also, start planning actual lessons. Reflect on the past year to see what worked and what didn’t, set goals for the coming year and brainstorm creative ways to make this next year successful for your students and you.
A lot of schools offer summer programs that are not necessarily summer schools get involved in these! Coach a neighborhood sports team or help out with your school’s marching band, both of which often practice during the summer. If there is an afterschool club that interests you, like a newspaper, glee club or chess team, become it’s facilitator and plan the club’s activities for the school year. Not interested in any of the clubs your school offers? Start your own! Becoming involved in your students’ extracurricular activities helps you be a true role model. Utilize the summer to sustain the relationships you’ve built with your students during the school year.