The concept of summer vacation is often misunderstood by many. Visions of teachers sleeping in, laying pool outside and not having a care for three months tend to be created. Do teachers sleep in and go to the pool? Sometimes; I hope so, they deserve it! However, most of an educator’s summer is spent preparing for the upcoming school year.
A three month summer vacation, equates to about six weeks out of school for a teacher. They have meetings and requirements at the end of the year, as well as the beginning of the year. During those six weeks, an educator is re-vamping lesson plans, creating new curriculum, perhaps taking continuing education credits, or attending workshops. They’re also perusing Pinterest for classroom ideas, shopping the Target dollar section for decorations, crafts, and options for students who need good behavior incentives or have sensory needs.
Six weeks sounds like a long time, however, six weeks to prepare for a whole new school year with new students, and new demands isn’t much time at all. Plus, teachers are still trying to balance time with families and/or other personal responsibilities.
My summers are hectic, and I love simplicity. Who doesn’t? If a company is trying to market to educators, my recommendation is try to simplify things for them. If you’re selling curriculum, can you offer a workshop or webinar where a CEU (continuing education credit ) could be earned? Supplemental lesson plans? A free subscription to an online learning website, app, or learning tool? A bag of sensory toys? Boxes of pencils? These sound like mundane items, but these are worth their weight in gold to educators!
Summer is a great time to connect with educators. You may find us at school working in our classrooms, at the dollar store preparing a “prize box,” or epic bulletin board, at the library or local college or university trying to gather additional resources, or you might find us at the park or the pool but rest assured, we are still preparing for the new school year.
A teacher never stops thinking about their students or their classroom. Their minds are an endless drawing board of curriculum and creativity. I use my summer vacation to simplify, stock up (and save), and sustain. Sustainability is what makes a nine month school year productive and strong. Oh, and smile, because it’s summer!