A Teacher’s Summer Holiday Guide: Making the Most of Your Time Away from the Classroom

Leaving the School Year Behind

As the final school bell rings, signalling the start of the six-week summer holiday, a wave of excitement and relief washes over both pupils and teachers alike. The academic year has flown by, filled with challenges, achievements, and growth. Now, as the corridors empty and the classroom doors close, educators find themselves faced with a time brimming with potential.

With just over six weeks of well-deserved break ahead, teachers face an abundance of options for their summer holiday, from pure relaxation to personal growth and preparation for the upcoming academic year – but how can they make the most of this precious time?

This blog post aims to provide inspiration and practical ideas for teachers to embrace their summer holiday, ensuring they return to school refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready for new challenges. From leisurely pursuits to professional development opportunities, let’s explore how to create a fulfilling summer that sets the stage for another successful year in the classroom.

Reflecting on the Past Year

As you unwind this summer, take time to consider your teaching experiences from the past academic year. Analyse your victories and challenges, identifying what strategies worked well and which fell short. This introspection can provide valuable insights into your teaching methods and lesson plans, highlighting areas for improvement.

By understanding your strengths and weaknesses, you can develop targeted strategies to enhance your teaching practice for the upcoming academic year. Remember, thoughtful reflection is the first step towards meaningful growth and development in your career.

White female teacher woman preparing suitcase for summer holidays.

1. Embracing Summer Break

Disconnecting from the classroom and go on holiday

Changing your scenery and experiencing warm weather offers the chance to properly rest and recuperate. However, not all holidays have to be about that. If you have a sense of adventure, you could take a four-week break to travel around a continent of your choosing. This is especially satisfying if you’ve always wanted to travel but your career took over before you could. With such a long break, you’re able to take off and experience different regions of the world, creating lifelong memories as you do.

To maintain a healthy work-life balance, don’t bring work home, as it can lead to a lack of separation between your professional and personal life. Designate a specific area for work and set a schedule to keep your home a relaxing space for personal time and self-care. Prioritise your personal life and well-being during the summer break to ensure you return refreshed and recharged.

2. Rejuvenating Your Mind and Body

Self-care essentials for summer holidays

Let’s face it, we teachers need our summer holidays! After a year of non-stop marking and lesson planning, it’s time to recharge those batteries. Whether you fancy lounging on a beach or exploring a new city, a change of scenery does wonders for the soul. Summer is a great opportunity to have some much needed fun in the sun whether that is in the UK or abroad.

Summer’s also a great time to focus on you and put your self-care as the number one priority. Why not try that yoga class you’ve been eyeing up, or experiment with some new, healthy recipes? A bit of exercise and good food can work wonders for your energy levels and don’t forget about your mental health and wellbeing. A spot of mindfulness or meditation can help clear the mind and set you up for a fantastic new school year.

Remember, a refreshed teacher is an effective teacher. So go on, make the most of your well-deserved break!

3. Exploring New Horizons

Catch up on your CPD training

The summer holidays are the perfect opportunity for teachers to take up some further training in their free time, as many teachers will understand during term time every free moment is either spent in the classroom teaching or marking students’ papers.

Consider reading new educational books or exploring innovative teaching methods. Online forums and webinars can also provide fresh ideas for the upcoming year. Don’t forget about Connex Academy’s continued professional development training. We offer a range of courses, many accessible for free, covering various aspects of education. From enhancing subject knowledge to exploring new pedagogical approaches, there’s something for every teacher.

Investing in your professional development benefits both you and your future students. Why not explore our CPD courses and give your teaching toolkit a boost this summer?

Click here to discover our range of CPD opportunities.

Classroom with colorful lockers and raised chairs on the tables as school is closed for the summer holidays.

4. Preparing for the Next School Year

Setting goals and priorities for a successful year

Setting personal goals is a fantastic way to grow and find direction during your summer break. Why not learn a new language, pick up a musical instrument, or try out a new skill? These activities are great for keeping your mind sharp and having fun at the same time.

To stay motivated, break down your big goals into smaller, manageable steps. It’s so satisfying to tick off those little achievements along the way! Plus, investing in professional development can do wonders for your teaching. Whether it’s attending workshops, diving into the latest educational research, or exploring online courses, you’ll head back to the classroom with fresh ideas and renewed enthusiasm.

5. Spend Time with Family and Friends

Make Time for Those Who Matter Most

Spending time with friends and family members during the summer holidays is essential for teachers. After a demanding school year, connecting with loved ones and close friends helps recharge your batteries and strengthen relationships.

Whether planning a family trip, hosting a BBQ, or simply enjoying a quiet evening together, these moments create lasting memories and provide much-needed relaxation. Summer is the perfect time to nurture these important connections and cherish the time spent with those who matter most.

Happy families having fun doing picnic at park outdoor in summer vacation.

Getting Ready to Return to School!

Make Time for Those Who Matter Most

Updating your lesson plans and teaching materials during the summer holiday is a great way to prepare for the upcoming school year. Attending professional development courses can also improve your teaching methods and bring fresh ideas into your classroom.

Two weeks before the new academic year starts take the time to organise your lessons, classroom and ensure everything is ready for when the school year begins. Using the summer to prepare and create new displays, and ensure all materials are ready and sets the stage for a successful and smooth year ahead.

And Finally...

Teaching is an industry which is almost unique in its annual structure. Apart from all the curriculum and developmental cycles which shape the academic year, the unseen one is that teaching is built upon your mental and emotional resilience needing to be refreshed.

Every year you create a little family to nurture and devote yourself to. Every year you have to say goodbye to them and be ready and excited to welcome a new family.

Whether you jet off on the first day of the holidays or spend a couple of weeks slowly packing away the year’s accumulated clutter, you have to find some undiluted time to totally un-plug yourself!

The famous six weeks ‘teachers are so lucky’ has been eroded by a change in attitudes and realities in modern education. Whether this is good or bad, what has to remain untouched, is your right and necessity to use all of the tips above to find total mental, physical and emotional rest.

Bonne Vacances!

More from Connex Education

As we strive to meet the diverse needs of neurodivergent learners, quality training is essential for educators. Connex Academy, the sister brand of Connex Education, offers a range of affordable and free courses to help with upskilling and training: 

By enrolling on these courses, professionals and parents alike can gain valuable knowledge and strategies for creating a supportive and friendly environment, understanding the unique strengths and challenges students face during exam season, and learning how to effectively support their mental health and well-being appropriately with compassion and understanding. 

Why not check out our latest teaching and education roles, we recruit for a variety of role on both permanent and short term contracts, click here to find out more 

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A white middle ages female teacher spending a summer evening in her back garden with friends and family having a BBQ on her summer break.

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