Just in case you hadn’t noticed – it’s summer time! Whether you’ve been teaching abroad or at home, the coming weeks of freedom are the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past year’s successes and challenges, while applying what you’ve learned to your plans for the year ahead.
We highly recommend indulging in the following:
Get lost in a good book. Whether it’s novels, fiction or non-fiction, magazines, newspapers or blogs, stories and articles open the mind to new perspectives on life and teaching. If you’re trying to encourage your class to read, you can’t preach what you don’t practice. Choose a couple of books your students might enjoy so you can start the year with lots of exciting recommendations.
You’re on vacation – take life at a slower pace! Put down your phone and your computer and treat yourself to some ‘me’ time. Having an awareness of your health, and respecting it, is essential when you work a job that requires constant focus and has you on your feet all day. Overhaul your diet, schedule in regular exercise and take up a new interest or hobby.
Take the time to meet up with teacher friends and colleagues, past and present. You’ll be able to enjoying catching up in a calm environment, share ideas and motivate each other. Getting to know your current colleagues better outside of school will of course improve team relationships and morale.
On reflection, what would you change about the past year? What would you have done differently? If you’re an experienced teacher, do you think you’ve become set in your ways? If some approaches haven’t been as successful as others, try forcing yourself out of your comfort zone. Research some new methods to experiment with in the future.
5. Set realistic goals
It’s all very well setting ambitious targets for the new school year, but it’s more important and effective to set achievable and realistic ones. This reduces the pressure. Outline what teaching goals you’d like to achieve in the next three, six and twelve months, with details on how you’ll approach each one. Place these goals in a visible place and update them as you pass important milestones.
How do you use your summer to reflect on your teaching?