- In order to come back in September feeling excited and happy to return, we need to take time off.
- There are 10 ways we can spark our passion in the summer: make time for yourself, rethink curriculum, do some planning, learn, be yourself, revisit your why, know you are human, lead and mentor others, build excitement, and maintain trusting relationships.
I love summer. It is beautiful. It is hot, and it is time for that long-needed vacation and downtime as an educator! I do love the opportunity and privilege I have as a teacher to be on vacation in the summer when the weather has finally warmed up. The sun is shining so we can explore the land we live in as we re-energize for the new school year. If you ask any teacher, I bet they would tell you it’s busy but well worth it. They can come back excited and happy to work in September. It’s the key to not burning out in the profession.
I thought of what I would share with my younger self, my mentees, or what a retired teacher would pass down to me about how to love the profession each day. I also reflected on the perspective of new teachers and what they would share with me.
Here is what has worked for me as an educator.
Spark Your Passion This Summer! Inspire Yourself
Stay true to your calling to teach, be driven, and spark your passion with positive relationships.
- Relax and unwind from the daily routine.
- Rejuvenate – do things you love to do that keep your spirits high.
- Build relationships with family and friends.
- Plan lesson ideas that inspire you as a teacher.
- Format your trips and learning tasks ahead by organizing.
- Rethink what worked and what needs revamping for the following year.
- Take courses that you love, not what’s required.
- Learn about things that you can bring into your classroom.
- Make a plan and make time to learn something fun that you always wanted to do.
Be yourself this summer
- Kids know when you are truly yourself, so just be yourself.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Make time for doing the things that you love.
- Make time for the people in your life, both professionally and personally.
Keep the reason why you became a teacher close to your heart this summer
- Planning and learning means knowing why you teach.
- Always being a lifelong learner is a good thing!
- You are not good at everything but you can do anything with a positive attitude.
Know you are human this summer
- Life is just that. It is going to throw you curve balls sometimes.
- Embrace the changes. Go with the flow. There are things that you can control and some that you have to learn to work with.
- Love the up and downs and be yourself through it all.
Lead and be lead this summer
- I always mentored; give back to your profession.
- I always wanted leaders to mentor me and show me what worked for them.
- Remember your first memory of teaching. Mine was teaching my dolls and playing teacher when I was in kindergarten. Don’t forget those memories.
- If I can share one thing and one thing alone…it’s not a job.
- Connect with other amazing, inspiring educators this summer.
- You need to know you’re shaping the lives of the younger generation and you do have to really want to be here to do this thing called TEACHING.
Be excited this summer
- I truly can say I feel like I never worked one day in life. Every day has been an adventure teaching. Find your calling. It won’t feel like work then; it will feel like a big adventure of learning and watching how life unfolds around you.
- I do look forward to retirement. But I more love that I can have fun each day and learn lessons.
- Develop lessons you are excited to teach so your students will be excited to learn.
Maintain trusting relationships this summer
- The quote that I love is that you become like the 3 people you hang around with most. If that’s the case, pick those people well with thoughtful consideration into how they may influence you, impact your life, and make an impression.
- Pick those colleagues with care—people with whom to build collaborative tasks and try some new ideas.
- Keep family and friends close to your heart to inspire you.
I wish all educators a restful summer “vacation” or have a blast on “staycation.” I wish you quiet moments that you can embrace.
Be inspired, spark your passion for another year ahead, and stay energized!
Yours in Education,
About Nilmini Ratwatte-Henstridge
Nilmini Ratwatte-Henstridge teaches in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. She was born in Sri Lanka and immigrated to Canada with her family. As an Elementary School Teacher who is passionate about Equity, Social Justice, and Human Rights in education, she enjoys teaching the younger generation to be global-minded citizens.
Discovering the world by connecting with others is an opportunity that we have today in our society today and she loves meeting new people! She is always learning while traveling to understand the inter-connectedness of this beautiful earth we live in! Nilmini LOVES cooking great meals, watching movies, and the latest fashion trends! Family and friends are close to her heart as she looks forward to balancing social media and navigating professional learning communities in education to network globally this year!