(BPT) – Summer break is the time when teachers everywhere get a much-deserved respite from the chaos of the school year. Although summer break is in full effect, the new school year is just around the corner. A little extra planning in the summer can go a long way to making the return to school as smooth as possible. But if you’re not ready to get back in ‘school mode’ just yet, here are some easy tips for teachers to prepare for the year ahead without sacrificing rest and relaxation.
Reflect on the past year
Summer break is the perfect time to sit back, relax and reflect on the year that just ended. Take time to consider which units went well and sparked an enthusiastic response from your students. Think about the projects that fell flat, or where student progress wasn’t as strong as it could have been. What are the things you can do to improve your teaching style or lesson plans for next year? Reflection is important for self-growth, and it can be done while sitting poolside or enjoying a glass of lemonade in the backyard.
Enroll in Classroom Rewards
Every year, teachers spend nearly $500 of their own money on school supplies. But this year, teachers can get a little help in that area thanks to new Classroom Rewards from Staples. During the back-to-school season, parents who shop at Staples, in-store and online can give 5% of that purchase back in Staples Rewards to a school or teacher of their choice, up to $250. To be eligible to receive the money, teachers simply have to register online at Staples.com/classroomrewards. Signing up takes less than five minutes, and it’s a great, easy way to prepare your classroom and your wallet for the year ahead. Plus, teachers earn a $5 reward just for enrolling.
Visit the library
Get a jump on your student reading list by visiting the library and checking out some of the most popular new kids’ books. Many libraries also have audio books available so you can listen in the car, on a walk or relaxing at the lake. You’ll get through books quicker that way, and when it comes to summer relaxation, what’s better than a new book?
Go to yard sales
As you think about how you want to arrange your classroom, start checking out local yard sales for fun new items. This is an especially good way to get cheap used books for your classroom library, but you never know what you might find. Yard sales are a great way to get outside, meet your neighbors and do some back-to-school shopping at a summer break pace.
Get some sleep
It’s hard to make summer preparations any easier than this. If you adjust your sleep pattern and stay up late all summer, it’s only going to make the return to school that much harder. Instead, establish healthy sleep habits so you can return fresh and ready to go from the very first morning back.
Enjoy the time off
There may be no better way to prepare for the new year than by not thinking about it at all. While you’ll need to start prepping eventually, make sure you really take time to recharge your batteries first. Burnout among teachers can be a significant issue, and you won’t be doing your students any favors if you come back more begrudgingly than they do. Enjoy the summer and get ready to come back more enthusiastic than ever about helping your students succeed.