My students aren’t the only ones in countdown mode—but once I submit final grades and pack up, I’m always left with a mixed bag of emotions. Initially, it’s relief, but there’s always an adjustment period where I think to myself, “now what?” This year, I’m starting to plan out my summer early. Sure, there will be lesson planning, studying, and meetings to attend, but in addition to these things, here’s a short list of activities on my to-do list.
- Take advantage of the Educators Travel Network. I’ve written about this website before, but this will be the first time I’ve used it.
ETN is sort of like a time-share, but for teachers. Membership (a mere $36 a year) grants you use of thousands of homestays throughout the country. Depending on the location and availability, you’ll either be hosted ($40/night) by another member or stay in the member’s home while s/he is away ($50/night).
Click on the Destinations tab to view the ETN’s complete membership directory. This page introduces you to current ETN members, tells you a little bit about them and describes their accommodations.
- Set up a personal blog and share it with my outgoing students. My students are always curious about my life outside of the classroom. They know that I play guitar and they’ve heard me talk about my family, friends, pets, and my travel experiences—but we mainly talk about these things in passing.
I always like keeping in touch with former students, so I thought one of the best ways to do this would be through my blog. If you’re interested in doing this, check out Weebly: it’s free and one of the most user-friendly blogging platforms I’ve come across.
- Create a bucket list based on the 52-week challenge. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find lots of blogs dedicated to the 52-week challenge (here’s the blog that inspired me).The idea is to compile a list of activities you’ve never tried before and take on one of these challenges every week. Instead of spreading out my challenges over an entire year, I plan on creating an abridged version for summer and documenting these experiences on my new blog.
- Meet with a colleague(s) I don’t know very well. Something occurred to me recently: Although I’ve worked with a number of my colleagues for years, I know very little about many of them. This summer, I plan on asking some of these folks to meet for coffee and conversation.
- Join a community book club. This summer, I’m fully embracing guilty-pleasure books in the horror genre; since my local Barnes & Noble reading group doesn’t particularly share my enthusiasm for this genre, I turned to a couple communities on Goodreads. Whatever genre you love, Goodreads will connect you with likeminded readers, book challenges, and opportunities to chat with some of your favorite authors.
I’d love to hear what some of you are planning on doing this summer. Please feel free to share in the comments section!