The school year is winding down. Final exams, end-of-year programs, and closing down the classrooms and buildings are keeping us all busy and looking forward to a well-deserved break. Summer is the perfect time to tap into a few social and emotional strategies so you can truly rejuvenate. By the time fall comes around, you will be ready to start the new school year with renewed energy and enthusiasm.
- Devote Time for Yourself
School staff are used to giving so much to the children they serve, including their time, emotional support, and so much more. You may not realize it, but every day, you’re using self-management and self-regulation skills. By the time the end of the school year rolls around, it’s only natural that you feel stressed and less motivated.
Rebuild your stamina this summer and make a point to do something just for you. Spend some time doing a hobby you love such as gardening, painting, or hiking. Or try something new, like Zumba or a cooking class. Spending time focusing on your needs, rather than everyone else’s, will help you in your job. It will also help you start the new school year fresh and ready to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.
- Get Away
What better way to relax than by taking a trip? Whether you seek a far-off beach or just plan a local “staycation,” getting out of your regular routine for a few days is a great way to unwind after a stressful school year.
Consider traveling to a new place with an unfamiliar culture. Visit a new town, state or country (bonus tip: click here for travel discounts just for school staff!). Or, if you want to stay closer to home, try visiting a farm if you live in the city, or visit a busy downtown if you live in a rural area. Seeing the world from a new perspective is part of how we build social awareness skills, which helps us appreciate diversity and empathize with others.
- Recharge Your Passion
It’s normal to feel a little burned out after a busy school year. Once you’ve had a chance to relax a bit, you may want to look for ways to recharge your passion for teaching. There are many free webinars available, including ASCD’s free webinars and EdWeek’s suggested list. And the best part – you can do this activity lying by the pool or relaxing in a park!
Another way to refresh your passion is by joining a Personal Learning Network (PLN). This is a great way to boost your social awareness and relationship-building skills and engage with other people in the education field. Chances are, there are school staff out there who face the same challenges you encounter day to day. PLN’s are a terrific resource to help you collaborate, brainstorm, problem-solve, and grow.
The end of the year is nearly here, and you’re more than ready for some much-deserved rest and relaxation. Just like your students, you need strong social and emotional skills to thrive in your career. Make sure to spend some time building your SEL skills and enjoy your summer break!