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10 Ways to Wind Down From the School Year and Stay Productive

10 Ways to Wind Down From the School Year and Stay Productive

By Jessica Sanders

We know, despite what most people think, that teachers rarely “relax” during the summer. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some down time while getting important things done for next year. Wind down for the first few weeks of summer with these relaxing, yet productive activities.

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1. Read Your Favorite Books

You deserve a break, so instead of diving into the tough stuff like learning new tools or writing new lessons right away, stack up your favorite books and chip away at the pile one novel at a time. Every time you read a book again you learn something new or discover a detail you never noticed before—this could spark a new, creative lesson idea.

2. Spend Time on Pinterest

What better way to wind down and be productive than Pinterest. You’ll enjoy browsing around, and when you find something valuable, you can save it for later.

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3. Plan Lessons Poolside

It’s hard to be stressed when you’re laying poolside. Use your time in the sunshine to brainstorm new lesson plans and start writing down ideas. Even basic outlines will get you started down a productive path.

4. Read a Funny Article

As it turns out, laughing at all those teacher memes is beneficial: “Recent research shows that people in a lighter mood experience more ‘eureka!’ moments and greater inspiration,” according to PyschologyToday.com. Wind down from the school year, and welcome inspiration and productivity, with some laughs.

Check out our most popular teacher humor articles:

5. Start Crafting

Creating makes people happier and less anxious, which is why crafting for your classroom is the perfect summer project. Not only will you craft yourself into a state of relaxation, but you’ll have great decorations, name tags and labels for next year.

hey girl crafting

6. Write Your Reflections

Reflecting on the past year is a productive and straightforward task when you use a simple form like this one from math teacher and blogger, Sarah Hagan. Use this worksheet to structure your thoughts without going into too much detail. You can go back later to add specifics and structure your plans for next year.

7. Find a Local Edcamp

Edcamp is a fun (and free!) way to learn something new. Going during the summer alleviates any pressure to implement the tools and ideas you discovered right away. Instead, use it as an opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, and store your notes away for later.

More: 10 Reasons Every Teacher Should Attend an Edcamp

8. Stock Up for Next Year

There’s no therapy like retail therapy, especially when you need all new pens, pencils, notebooks… the list could go on.

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9. Plan Casual Teacher Gatherings

Grab dinner or head to the beach with some of your teacher friends. While the conversation may not revolve around lessons or classroom ideas, someone could share a story or thought that leads to a “light bulb moment” for you.

10. Redecorate Your Office Space

If you have office space at home, take some time at the beginning of summer to decorate it or move furniture around. When you need to sit down and get work done later, you’ll be glad to have an inspiring, organized space where you can focus.

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