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Your Career• 3 Min read

9th July 2019

How Teachers Can Make The Most of Summer Holidays | Engage Education

The summer holidays are undeniably one of the best perks of teaching – no matter how much you profess to love working with your pupils. As a teacher, you work incredibly hard throughout the term, and need the long summer break to rest, re-charge, and come back in September ready to face the challenge of a new year as a better teacher than ever before.

So how can you make the most of this time for rest, relaxation and reflection?

Rest

It’s no secret that many teachers are seriously sleep-deprived throughout the school terms. Ofsted inspections, exam periods, and parent-teacher evenings can add to an already jam-packed schedule and sleep is often the first casualty when finding time to meet extra responsibilities.

Sleep is important for maintaining your attention span, concentration and memory – things you’ll rely on heavily during the next school year – so take time during the holidays to catch up on your sleep. Catching the right amount of sleep also vastly improves your health, making you less likely to catch illnesses, gain weight, or develop heart problems.

If you’re finding it difficult to fall or stay asleep, consider pampering yourself at a spa, going to the gym, taking a long bath, or even for a long walk in nature. Not only are these activities a fun use of your newly found free time, but anything that gets your endorphins on the rise will help you sleep like a baby.

Go on holiday

We live and work on the doorstep of dozens of bucket-list destinations. Whether you’re a continental city-hopping tourist, or want to chuck on your wellies and go exploring, there are no shortage of options for you (and your family).

Paris, Barcelona, Berlin and Rome are just a short flight away from any British airport and have fantastic opportunities for shopping, exploring, trying new food (and drink!) or taking in the culture. While you’re there, you may even pick up a thing or two to teach to your next intake of pupils come September. Being well-travelled gives you the opportunity to see the world in a different way, and to pass those skills on to your pupils.

However, for a beautiful and relaxing holiday, you need look no further than our very own shores. From the vast landscapes of the Scottish highlands to the hustle and bustle of London or the seaside fun of Blackpool, Britain has something for every holidaymaker.

During the summer, many newspapers, coupon websites, travel agents run promotions, vouchers and competitions for everything from local short breaks to international holidays, so you can be sure that you make the most out of your time and your budget. If you’re a teacher with Engage Education, you’ll also benefit from our exclusive partnership with STA Travel, which qualifies you for money off travel, insurance and shopping.

Spend quality time with friends and family

You’ll often be too tired during term-time to catch up with your non-teaching friends in the evenings or even at weekends, and time with your family can be reduced to an hour or less every night before you fall asleep on the sofa. Let your friends and family experience the summer holidays version of yourself, and carve out time to spend with those who are important to you. (This includes spending lots of time with your furry family members too!)

If you’re an international teacher teaching in the UK, the summer holidays can be a great opportunity to visit home (or have home visit you), or even just a chance to have extended video calls to really catch up over the distance.

Remember your passions

The summer holidays are an opportunity to revisit what makes you, you. Explore your passions outside of teaching, or get into something you’ve always wanted to try. Too many teachers feel guilty for putting effort into endeavours that aren’t teaching-related, but having other interests activities will go a lot of the way towards preventing teacher burnout.

So if you’ve always wanted to try kayaking or sculpting, or want to re-ignite your love of playing the clarinet, the six-week break could be just the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. When you return to school in September, you may have learned a new skill or two that you can enjoy in your spare time or share with your pupils!

Prepare for the year ahead

Alongside all the fun of holidaying, returning to your hobbies, and spending time with your family, friends and pets, you will unfortunately benefit from spending some time preparing for the year of teaching ahead.

Use the time you have (perhaps on one of those long walks we mentioned before) to reflect on your previous teaching year. Where was there room for improvement? What would you like to do more of? What are your goals for the coming year? You can also use the time to brush up on your subject and prepare to get creative with your teaching.

A lot of stress can be avoided by doing some simple preparation, such as buying new clothes to teach in, sourcing the supplies you need, some lesson planning, and preparing your classroom. Going into the September term with a fresh wardrobe, fresh stationery, and a fresh classroom will ensure you have a smooth transition from summer to school.

Teach summer school 

Teaching at a summer school provides you with some extra financial support. It will be challenging, you might see mixed abilities and nationalities in one group, but you will have a bit more freedom in your classes than you may have the rest of the year. And it can be a lot of fun, with great staff camaraderie and new

Actual home work

There’s no doubt that being a teacher is demanding of your time. During term time you will often be catching up with work in the evenings and on weekends, leaving little time for housework, DIY and personal admin. So, the school summer holidays offer a chance to tick off some of those household jobs that have been on your to-do list for a long time.

Moving on up

If you’ve mastered the steps above, here are two things you can do to take your teaching career to the next level: 

  1. Register with Engage today to connect with your own personal Engage consultant, who will work tirelessly to find you your dream teaching job.
  2. Subscribe to receive updates from the Reading Corner. We have over 500 informative articles and blog posts, and will email you with competitions, prizes, industry news and free resources to help you at every step of your career.

Speak to Education Support

If you find you’re struggling during the holidays, our partners at the Education Support Partnership are on hand throughout the holidays to assist. From short-term financial aid to counselling, advice, or just a friendly chat, the Education Support Partnership was created to help teachers when they need it. (Just call them at 08000 562 561.)

If you’re a teacher with Engage, you can benefit from the full Employee Assistance Programme, which includes up to six sessions of face-to-face telephone counselling, access to online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), financial and legal information, and more.

You can find out more on the Education Support Partnership’s website. If you’d like more information on how we support our teachers throughout their career, check out the Employee Assistance Programme and all our other benefits.

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