Congratulations! You survived a highly unusual school year!! As the summer break lies ahead, I hope you consider undertaking the following:
- Rejoice: Find a way to celebrate all that you have accomplished. You have managed to reinvent an entire instructional delivery model and deliver quality lessons to students in a distance-delivery format for nine weeks. You made this switch with very little notice, and you excelled. Kudos to you!
- Rest: Teaching in a traditional day-to-day delivery is exhausting. Teaching in a constantly changing digital-delivery who-knows-what’s-next environment is doubly exhausting. Your body, mind, and spirit need a good rest. Many of you know that I have studied sleep (because I’ve had some real struggles with it), and I know how critical it is to our overall health and well being. Let your body lead you in this area. Listen to your body and respond to it. Put together a good routine that allows for ample sleep. Shut down the electronics, dim the lights, cool the room, and settle in. You will be so very glad you did!
- Reflect: We learn by thinking about our experiences. Think about your school year. What went well? How can you incorporate your positives into more areas of your instructional practice? What didn’t go well? Be specific. What can you do to make these areas better? Take some time to consider these things throughout your summer months.
- Reconnect: Teaching is intense. Many times we take home our planning and grading, and we take time away from ourselves and others to meet the needs of our students. Summer is a great time to reconnect with friends and family members who may have not been given time during the school year. Use the time you have available to connect with others in meaningful ways.
- Refill: Teachers give and give and give of themselves during the school year. By this point in the year, your well is dry. Take time this summer to refill your well. That means different things to different people. Some find refilling in friends, family, and spiritual development. Others find refilling in exercise, gardening, or artistic expression. However you find that refilling, do it! You deserve it!!
Thank you for giving your time and talents to our students and schools. I’m proud of each of you. Well done, friends. Well done.