Well we were lucky this year! For educators in Maryland, the school year actually ended on time due to the mild winter. Once you get a little extra sleep and completely chill for a couple of days, it might be time to start thinking about how to make the most of the few weeks in summer vacation. Here are a couple of ideas to consider:
1. Take some field trips WITHOUT students! We are lucky to be so close to institutions that people save up to visit. Consider a trip to the Aquarium, Science Center, Zoo, Newseum, or any of the Smithsonian museums. It is amazing what you get to see when you are not monitoring students’ every move. I have already started this mission and has awaken my love of learning in these environments.
2. Start a new adventure with Groupon! This can become a little addicting, but there are amazing deals that can help you learn, relax, and have fun. I am looking forward to use my vouchers to take photos, paint, bead, and play miniature golf.
3. Read for enjoyment! There has been the accusation that I read too many “Smart” books and that may be true, but I love all kinds of books. There is a really cool book club started by Matthew Winner and Jennifer LaGarde about gamification of the classroom. They have a blog and challenges where you can earn prizes! http://levelupbc.blogspot.com
4. Take some time to unplug! Weird advice considering the source, but enjoy the outdoors before you are trapped under artificial light again. Maryland is a beautiful state and it does not cost a lot to enjoy it.
5. Put that plan book down! The summer is a great time to generate new ideas, but don’t spend too much time on lesson plans or visiting your classroom. Take the time to rest, before you don’t have a choice. For me I use Evernote or one of my favorite apps Idea Store to jot down ideas for next year, but don’t start planning until August.
To all of the educators have an AMAZING summer! You have earned it!