Summer break for secondary teachers is a time to relax and recharge. But the reality is that you will be working during this time, whether they are getting paid or not. Let’s talk about how to do some summer planning that maximizes your time off. And still leaves you feeling like you are ready to go back to school when it starts.

Today we’re going to be focusing on the second “S” of the “4S” System: Schedule.

Benefits of Creating a Summer Schedule

Creating a summer schedule has many benefits, one of which is that you know when you will work and what you will be working on.

This helps establish boundaries and ensures that you will be able to stick to your plans. It also allows you to relax and enjoy your time off, knowing that you have time scheduled to work.

By prioritizing your goals and scheduling your work and downtime, you can make the most of your summer break while still feeling prepared when school starts.

Prioritize Your Goals

The first step in creating a summer schedule is to prioritize your goals. Figure out what is essential to get done during the summer rather than waiting until school starts.

Think about projects that don’t depend on your students and their individual needs. Such as revamping your systems and routines or developing your scope and sequence.

If you must do some curriculum planning, focus ONLY on a unit or two.

Schedule Your Work and Downtime

The next step is to schedule in your work and downtime. First, schedule all of your family reunions, vacations, and summer camps or classes that your kids are involved in.

Make sure that goes in first because those are your non-negotiables.

Once you’ve scheduled your downtime, schedule your work time. Calendar it out so that you know when you will work and what you will be working on. Google Calendar with its notifications has worked well for me.

By having a schedule, you will be able to stick to your plans and boundaries, which will allow you to actually enjoy your time off.

In Summary

Summer break is a time for secondary teachers to relax and recharge. But we often find ourselves wanting to plan for the next school year. By creating a realistic summer schedule, you can prioritize your goals, schedule your work and downtime, and maximize your time off while still feeling prepared for the school year.

Remember to take some time for yourself and enjoy your summer break, knowing that you have a plan in place for when it’s time to return to school.

Useful Links

Summer break is just around the corner, and with it comes the opportunity to relax and recharge. However, we know that as a teacher, more likely than not, you will be working in the summer. Whether you are getting paid or not, and unfortunately that’s just the reality of it. I would hope that at some point you can, in your career, figure out a way of just letting everything go in the summer, but I also know that is not a reality.

In this episode, we are going to discuss how to create a summer schedule that maximizes your time off and still let feel like you are ready to go back to school when school starts. Welcome to the Secondary Teacher Podcast, the podcast for middle and high school teachers juggling multiple preps to get the strategies to overwhelm so that you don’t have to choose between being an effective teacher and prioritizing important relationships. I’m your host, Khristen Masek, a 10-year high school engineering teacher, former middle school assistant principal and teacher coach. Every week we will discuss strategies, systems, and time-saving tips to help you not only survive but thrive as a multiple prep teacher.

Jared, my welding teaching husband and I, we often joke about summer and the. Of time off, we really get, because we do enjoy going to conferences and then we have the tendency of working throughout the summer. Now, as time has gone by and we have gotten further into our careers and we’ve also added children to our family, we’ve had to shift how we look at our summers, those first few summers.

We’re traveling, but at the same time, we were working a lot. And I admit that there were some summers that I worked the entire summer to get rid of everything when school started. I had redone an entire lesson unit and everything to go with it and starters and made this binder and honestly, Didn’t ever use it.

I think I may have used it for the first day of school, but then I didn’t use it. So we’re going to be talking about creating a realistic schedule so that you can feel like you are relaxing because you do need to relax and recharge, but then also feel like you’re still getting some things done so that when school starts, it’s not coming and hitting you and you’re blindsided.

The benefits of creating a summer schedule, Is that you know when you will work and what you will be working on. So this is the whole boundary thing. It will also help you stick to your plans and your boundaries. Having that time where you can relax and know that you do have time scheduled to work will allow you to actually enjoy your time off.

We do need to have you figure out what is going to be your priorities for the summer. What is it that is imperative that you get done during the summer rather than when school starts? So, To figure that out, you’re going to want to think about things that don’t depend on your students. There are a lot of things that you do as far as projects, things like that, that it does help to get to know some of the background of your students so you know which way to go.

So that may not be something that you plan during the summer. You can do your scope and sequence so that you have that broad view of what’s going on. Another thing that you can do is think about your systems and your routines that were working or weren’t working this last year. That is also something that you can think about and revamp, but there are a lot of things that you can just hold off and wait until.

The school year starts, or until your contract time starts, so you really need to figure out and prioritize. What do you think is going to be the most beneficial thing for you to do during the summer? Now, one of the things that I love, love, love doing during the summer is pd. I like to learn new things and then I get really excited, and so I want to implement it immediately, which doesn’t happen because I’m not in my classroom.

I like to learn and really just take some time to think about how I would apply that in my classroom. For me, that would be a priority is spending my time doing some PD and learning different ways of helping my students. You could also look at how your students, did they share on any sort of end.

Level course exam and figure out perhaps there’s a unit that your students were struggling with or there were a lot of misconceptions, or frankly, you just don’t like the unit and you wanna redo it. That is something you could also do during summer. I would recommend that it would be limited to a unit or two, not an entire class, because that is way too much and it will be beneficial for you to have those students in front of you and know how their personalities work and the cultures and the backgrounds that they come from will really help you as you are planning.

We’re going to talk about the next thing is, Your tips for scheduling in your work time and your downtime. My number one tip is calendar it. This is something that we’re getting used to in my family, and I would say we, but it’s mainly Jared because I have figured out, especially being in admin and now the district office, if it’s not on my Google calendar, it’s not happening.

It doesn’t exist. So I will even go in. To my Google calendar and block off a couple hours. Even for recording this podcast, I have blocked off a couple hours on a certain day so that I get that done. So I know that I should be working on this. It sends me a reminder. That would be my number one tip is to schedule in this planning time.

But before you do that, make sure you schedule in your downtime. Schedule in all of your family reunions, the places you’re going, vacations or summer camps or classes or whatever your kids are involved in. Make sure that goes in first because those are already scheduled and your children are counting on that and you are counting on that.

Those would be your non-negotiables. Be able to really move those around a lot. Once you get that alt in there, you can have a broad idea of this is what’s going to be happening in my life. And look at. Overall, now we’ve got our priorities. We know what you want to be focusing on this summer, and then you will also know what time you have available so you can look and see.

Are you going to set a goal for a week? Or you’re going to set a goal for a day and how much time are you going to be able to spend? Perhaps you are deciding that you really want to focus on your family for the entire summer, but those two weeks before contract time starts or contract hour starts, you’re going to dedicate a couple hours per day to.

Getting your, your stuff ready for the first days of school. So those 10 days of lesson plans, that’s when you’re gonna focus on it. You’re not gonna worry about anything for the entire summer until then. Or you could say that every Tuesday and Thursday night, you have a little chunk of time and you’re gonna look at things for an hour each night.

And instead of having it be super broad, what you’re going to be thinking about and focusing about, Set those goals. So go back to that priority. Anything that you do, you wanna make sure that it’s going back to that goal and then be specific. Instead of saying, oh, I wanna plan my first 10 days of school, you can say, on this day, I am going to.

Be planning my first day back, or on this day, I’m going to decide on all of the engagement activities, those hook activities that I’m going to be doing every single day for those first 10 days of class. You can also decide on this week, my goal is to figure out all of my routines for my classroom and how I’m going to present those to my students.

And finally, as you go through scheduling your. Vacations or those events that you’re doing and then now you’re scheduling when you might be planning or doing your work. Also schedule in some white time. So that is time where you actually have nothing scheduled. And if you can do whatever you want, so you can read a book is something that I prefer to do, or you can binge Netflix, whatever you wanna do, you can also schedule that in so that it’s sacred so that you don’t accidentally schedule something else in on top of that, but you are really giving that time for you to get refreshed and rejuvenated so that you can be the best teacher ever once school starts.

This along with some other things, is what we are going to be going over for secondary systems for success, but we’re also going to be looking at the mistakes to avoid for each of these four S’s.

Today’s “S” was “schedule.” And we are going to be going over those four S’s, which is set in order, schedule, systemize, and sustain. If you are listening to this in realtime, make sure that you click the link at Khristenmassic.com/systems. If you enjoyed this episode, Make sure to pass it along to another teacher friend who would really benefit from scheduling some downtime and also scheduling some work time to maximize their summer off Until next week.

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