3 Steps to a Stunning Summer and September
You’re counting down the days to the summer holidays. You feel like you are clinging on by your finger tips, hoping against hope for a quiet end of term.
When the end of term finally arrives, it can often feel like an anti-climax. You’ve been waiting so long for the big day to arrive that when it does, it can feel a bit empty. You say goodbye to another year group. You say goodbye to your colleagues for the summer. You wonder about your new classes and what new demands they may bring. You may wonder what you are going to do with yourself for the next five or six weeks. How will you keep yourself occupied? How will you switch off from school?
The reality is that teaching does not have an on/off switch. You can’t just be on all year and then suddenly off. It is more complicated than that.
So, here are three steps that you can take to ensure that you switch off effectively and enjoy a stunning summer and September.
1) Switch Off Well
Often, when you come to the end of the school year, you leave school on the last day, shut school out of your mind and will have already developed a sniffle before you arrive back home.
Your body has kept all potential illnesses at bay during term time and now that it can finally rest, all illnesses finally catch up with you.
So, before that begins, make sure that you have everything you need organised for September before the end of term.
I know this means more work now. I know you are really tired. I know you’d like nothing more than to curl up on the sofa rather than face more work.
However, the reality is that future-you will thank you for it.
By getting organised now, you’re allowing yourself the best possible chance to rest and recuperate when you need to, knowing everything is sorted and you don’t need to come back to things during the summer. This also prevents that age old question, “What was I doing?” when you return from holiday. Get it sorted now or at least leave yourself detailed instructions to prevent confusion later on.
2) The Return to School is a Gradual Process
Now, this step is one for later in the summer holidays but it is good to know about it now.
Did you know that your body begins the process of waking you from sleep two hours before you are due to wake up?
Well, the process of returning to school is a similar one.
The shock to the system that your mind and body will experience if you go from 0 mph to 60 mph on the first day back at school will ill-prepare you for the rest of term. You’ll feel exhausted before the students even return.
So, to avoid the sudden jolt of returning to school or the feeling of panic that may ensue, make sure that you have a plan on how you are going to become reacclimatised to school when September comes. Not only will this reduce those feelings of anxiety, it will also reduce feelings of resentment that may linger after the summer holidays are over.
3) Put You First
You are your greatest asset.
You have a right to put on your own oxygen mask before you assist someone else with theirs.
Putting yourself first may not be a habit that you are used to. Instead, you put the needs and demands of your students, colleagues, SLT, family and even friends ahead of yourself.
You literally put yourself at the bottom of your own food chain.
Over giving, overwhelm, exhaustion, inability to switch off, guilt, burnout.
The end of term and summer holidays are the perfect time to practise putting yourself first. It’s a habit that you need to learn if you are to thrive in teaching and not just survive. Make sure that come September, you are a clear feature of your own schedule.
Let me know how you get on with these steps. Feel free to reach out and comment. I’d love to hear from you.
Gemma Drinkall helps women to create clear boundaries so that they can love teaching again. If you would like to learn more about how to have a stunning summer and September, join my free 3 day Start Summer (and September!) Smiling Challenge, beginning on Tuesday 12th July. Click here to join.