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Maximize Your School Vacations!

The vacation is a time for teachers to recharge in the Christmas before the last semester. Or to gather strength and prepare during the summer before another group of students.

Resting and doing absolutely nothing is very important for you to be able to fight in the world of school between holidays. But you also have the world’s chance to combine rest with new insights and lessons!

Christmas time Means Christmas Peace and a Fresh Start!

The Christmas break is here, and you’re thinking, “It’s time to relax.”  But if you’re anything like most of the teachers, It´s for sure that once you’ve slept in for a few days and binge-watched that one show (or three) on Netflix, you tend to look around and say, “Now what?”  When that time comes, here are some things that every teacher should do during summer break to refresh and rejuvenate mentally and physically.


  • Refilling your ‘sleep account’ is extremely important. When we are sleep-deprived, even fun activities can wear us down.  Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night. If your schedule doesn’t permit that, try for a short nap in the afternoon.


  • During the school year, we read a great deal but not necessarily what we would choose. Now is the time to indulge in whatever genre you love! Even guilty pleasures are allowed. Make a list and download or order those books so they are instantly available whenever you have some downtime.

Pamper yourself (men included!)  

  • If you only have time during the year for a quick manicure, treat yourself to a more luxurious spa treatment. Get a massage, a facial, and a new hairstyle. Use the summer break or the Christmas holiday to experiment with new looks and products to help you feel amazing and get into a routine for a new start in school.
financial advice for school vacations of teachers

Get Away From It All

A teacher must be “on” every day of the school year. In fact, as a teacher, you often find it necessary to be “on” even outside of the school setting. It is essential to take the summer vacation and do something away from school.

Try Something New!

  • Expand your horizons. Take up a hobby or enroll in a course away from your teaching subject matter. You will be surprised how this can enhance your teaching in the coming year. Your new interest may be the thing that connects with one of your new students. Or, why not take a cooking class, an art seminar, language lessons, or a tutorial on flower arrangements? Perfect one new skill this summer, and bring it back to your class in the fall! There are for sure some short classes during the Christmas holidays too!

Do Something Just for Yourself

  • Get a massage, go to the beach, go on a cruise—do something to pamper and take care of yourself! Taking care of your body, mind, and soul is so important to have a fulfilling life and will help you recharge and restart for the next year.


  • Check your mental list of places you’ve always wanted to go but never had the time to. These don’t have to break the bank. They can be restaurants, shops, local attractions, or natural wonders. After you’ve made the effort to go somewhere you’ve never been, that part of the world never seems the same.

Reflect on Your Teaching Experiences

Think back over the previous year and identify your successes and your challenges. While you should spend some time thinking about both, concentrate on the successes. You will have greater success improving upon what you do well than focusing on what you did poorly.

Inspire Yourself

  • Spend some quality time with a child, your own, or someone else’s. Read about famous educators and inspirational leaders. Check out these inspirational books and movies. Remember why you got into this profession, to begin with.

Be Informed About Your Profession

Read the news and know what’s happening within education. Today’s legislative acts could mean a big change in tomorrow’s classroom environment. If you are so inclined, get involved.

Join a professional organization. 

  • Scan the Internet to find a professional teaching organization tailored toward grade level, subjects taught, and even areas of the world. There is usually a nominal fee for membership and the benefits are well worth the money. You can get member discounts, advance notice of events, and discounted or free professional development opportunities.

Professional Development 

  • Okay, we guess that CPD is the last thing you want to do on vacation.  Yet, it’s the perfect way to get back into the groove of teaching after a long, lazy summer. Maybe a little bit of overkill during the short Christmas vacation, though… Research options are available online or locally wherever you happen to be during summer break. Most universities with a College of Education offer seminars and conferences during the summer with a variety of topics from classroom management to bulletin board design.

Maintain Your Expertise

You can always learn more about the topic you teach. Check out the latest publications. You might find the seed for an excellent new lesson.

Choose a Few Lessons to Improve

  • Pick 3-5 lessons that you feel need improvement. Maybe they need enhancing external materials or maybe they need to be scrapped and rewritten. Spend a week rewriting and rethinking these lesson plans.

Assess Your Classroom Procedures

  • Do you have an effective tardy policy? What about your late work policy? Look at these and other classroom procedures to see where you can increase your effectiveness and decrease time off task.


  • It’s never too early to plan for the new school year, but it can quickly become too late. Check great sites like Teach UAE Magazine, Pinterest, and Edutopia for new and engaging ideas for your classroom. Consider themes, units, and alternate assessments for your lesson plans.

Remember to Socialize! Stay in touch in person if possible and via social media if you are apart. Brainstorming ideas as they come up or sharing information from your professional development activities works best if it’s fresh in your mind.

Use the quiet times in your break to Review and Reflect on your past school year. List 10 strengths and 5 challenges you had this past year, and brainstorm how to avoid or fix these challenges for the new school year or the new semester. Starting a journal or blog is also an effective way to keep track of your lessons and reflections for the future.

bill wallace author teacher retirement plans

About Author

Bill Wallace blends his academic background in Literature with his ventures in International Business and finance. His professional journey took him across Europe, especially in Spain, where his passion for writing evolved. Since then, armed with his literary finesse and investment acumen, he has been crafting financial content for teachers worldwide. More about me.

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