Using Summer Productively

9:36 PM Sarah Koves 1 Comments

I have been struggling to find a balance during my summer between downtime and preparing for the school year.  Our school year this year extended into June, June 11th to be exact, and then I taught eight days of summer school before spending four days at a leadership conference.  As a result, my summer didn't start until June 28th; sometimes it felt like it would never come.

This left me with a shortened break from school during which to relax and accomplish all the tasks I want to for next school year.  I knew I had to create a schedule to get everything for school done without spending most of my rejuvenation time sitting among a pile of textbooks and binders.

This is where my smart phone and Google Calendar come in handy.  I created two repeating events for every week between now and the last week of August when PD starts.

This first one is a reminder to work on lesson and unit plans and the rest of my extensive list of items I want to do over the summer.

Every week at 2 PM on Wednesday my phone reminds me to put in an hour of school time.  This way I am not trying to do everything at once and working for hours.  In addition, I don't get sidetracked by my pool and accomplish nothing. If I have other plans, I can simply snooze the event until I have time.  

In addition to my own classroom work, I am a building technology coordinator.  It sounds fancy, but it really means I am the first stop for technology problems in our building.  I also run our district Power School system and do some PD on our technology products including website and Google.  As a result, I have tech responsibilities in the summer.  I am free to work my own schedule out, but I also try to this in little bits, so I created a repeat reminder for technology stuff too.

When each of these reminders goes off, I set my phone timer for an hour (this actually goes for most jobs I need to do such as grading and cleaning the basement).  When the timer goes off, I let myself be done.  This method really keeps me from working too hard or not enough.

How do you keep your summers rejuvenating and productive at the same time?

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