As the 2020/2021 school year approaches, teachers have a lot of questions about what it will look like. When we ask this question, it seems like all we hear is “We don’t know yet.” Since governors, district leaders and administrators don’t know what schools will look like next year, teachers are struggling to figure out how to prepare. In this blog series, we are looking at 10 ways that we can prepare this summer without wasting our time. Each way will prove beneficial to you, whether your district ends up using distance learning, traditional classrooms, or a hybrid education approach. Included in each blog post in this series will be tech tool suggestions, free resources, and a giveaway entry form.
We have already talked about setting up your digital classroom, exploring technology tools, exploring both digital and paper formats for teaching resources, building up a communication system for parents, digging deep into your standards, prerecording mini lessons, creating a classroom management system, differentiating instruction and finding balance between teaching and parenting. Today we will discuss the final, and most important thing, all teachers should do to prepare for next school year:
You can take time for self care.
Summer is supposed to be a time to relax and enjoy our families. With many businesses still closed, or open with big restrictions, we will not be doing the things we normally do during the summer. Most of us won't be traveling, or hanging out at community pools. We won't be going to family reunions or having gigantic barbecues. However, this doesn't mean that we shouldn't be taking time for ourselves this summer. In fact, with the stress of the unknown in the Fall, it is even more important for us to take time to recharge this summer.
Additionally, this is a great time to build self care into our daily routine, with the hope of keeping that self care going in the fall. Personally, I have decided to make exercise a part of my morning routine every day. I started this as we started quarantine and it made such a difference during distance teaching. My favorite type of exercise is Yoga and a teacher friend of mine suggested the app Down Do because they were giving away a free membership during distance teaching. I tried it out and liked it enough to pay for the membership when the free trial ran out.
Here are some other suggestions on some how to build self care into your summer:
- Limit the amount of time you spend on school work. Yes I know there's a lot to do, but set yourself a daily limit and stick with it. This is the beginning of finding a life/work balance and it is so important.
- Catch up on shows and books you've missed. While I'm teaching I never seem to have enough time to enjoy the escapism of my favorite shows and books. This quarantine situation has given me that time to enjoy and to broaden my horizones with new, interesting shows and books. Personally, I have watched all of the 100, the Handmaid's Tale and Overlander.
- Explore a new (or old) hobby. For the first time in a long time, I have the space and time for jigsaw puzzles and baking, which are two of my favorite hobbies. What new hobbies can you try now?
- Take screen free time! Hiking, walking, gardening, sitting in the sun, playing board games, doing puzzles, taking a nap, there are so many things we can do WITHOUT our phones or computers.
- Learn something new - just for fun. There are so many things to learn in life, and we never have time to learn them as teachers. Learn how to change your oil, or how to cook a new recipe, or how to speak a new language. I'm working on Arabic on Duolingo!
- Sunbathe - in your backyard. Vitamin D is such a great mood booster, and there's no better way to get it than to bathe in sunlight. You don't have to go to the beach to do this, lay out a blanket or a chair in your backyard and catch those rays!
- Find a nature based day trip, so you'll feel like you traveled. Sometimes it doesn't take going very far to feel like you've traveled. Going even an hour or 2 away can give you the "road trip" feel that puts us in such a great mood.
- Pretend you're a kid and have a water gun fight. Run around splashing your kids, or your significant other, or even your dog. You'll laugh, you'll get exercise, you'll have fun.
- Spend at least a few days laying around in your PJs! The official uniform of teachers on vacation should be PJs or Yoga pants, but if yours isn't, then try it for at least a few days! You'll like it!
FREE Resources for Your Classroom
As you take some time to take care of yourself, here are some free resources that will save you planning time and allow you to plan a little less:
Back to School Vocabulary Packet for English Language Learners - This packet has 4 differentiated levels and guides students through 5 days of work for each level.
3rd Grade Problem Solving Path - This packet gives you 10 community based word problems for 3rd grade students.
Parts of Speech Quizzes - These quizzes (with answer keys) gives you multiple ways to assess if students can use the context of a sentence to determine the part of speech of a word.
Long I Spelling and Vocabulary Packet - This packet has 4 differentiated levels and guides students through 5 days of work for each level.
June Digital Learning Resource Bundle Giveaway
Now time for our giveaway!!! With today's giveaway entry form, you will be entering to win my 1st Grade Internet Scavenger Hunt Bundle. This bundle includes: 8 different internet scavenger hunts. Each scavenger hunt comes with 4 different formats: .doc format that allows students to type on them, a .pdf that allows students to click the links, a QR code version that allows students to scan QR codes and a Google Classroom version that includes a Google Doc and a Google Form. Enter to win this Internet Scavenger Hunt Bundle, by completing the the June Giveaway Entry Form #10.
All winners will be chosen on July 1st. Winners will receive the bundle directly to the provided email. All those who enter will also receive my monthly Raki's Rad Resources News Releases.
Missed a day? This blog post contains the entire list of 10 Things You Can Do to Prepare for Next School year.
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