The Most Important Thing for Teachers to Do This Summer

When I was teaching full-time, we would get out in June. Then we had to show up the next day for a teacher workday. We had to make sure all of our student files were in the correct sequential order in what we called the “vault.” You were never allowed to take a folder away from the “vault” and the area was very tight, so of course you had to wait your turn to complete the files.  Now of course, these were files that never got looked at and were shredded once the students left for middle school!

We had to make sure everything was taken off the walls, and I always hated taking down all the cute pictures I got from my students throughout the year!  We also had to pack up all the items in the classroom and put them away so the custodians could clean every inch of the rooms. We left student files for the next year’s teacher, which naturally they had zero time to read.

After all the madness that you know all too well was finished, it was time for rest and relaxation! I would usually head to the pool with my kids. I loved that time I spent with them, and I loved it later when they would hang out with their friends and I could spend time watching them and reading.

I was usually reading a “teacher book” and trying to find better ways to be that awesome teacher! I was always reading about the next best reading strategy or how to teach math skills more effectively, and all the behavior books! My husband always asked me if it was required reading for my job. He would say now that it was summer, shouldn’t I be reading for fun? I told him that if I wanted to be a better teacher, I needed to read what the newest strategies were .

Here are just a few of the better books that I found very helpful!

Take Control of the Noisy Class: Chaos to Calm in 15 Seconds is a great book on behavior and classroom management.


The Reading Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Readers is a great book that will help you with your struggling readers as well as your gifted readers.
Jennifer Serravallo also has a book on writing strategies that is suppose to be good as well. I haven’t gotten a chance to read that one because we always used Lucy Calkins writing series, which wasn’t my favorite.


Number Talks: Whole Number Computation, Grades K-5 is a great math book that incorporates the why of numbers. You will have some great math discussions with your students!


I know I should do a book review of the books I have read and the ones I didn’t find to be very helpful to save you some time.  Please feel free to share your great finds in the comments below.

After many years of this I can say for certain, you should read for fun! It is good to read the “teacher books,” especially if you are a new teacher, but there are more books out there than you will ever have the time to read.  Don’t stress yourself out trying to read too many. You deserve to read and relax. You have worked hard all year and now you should take some time for yourself.

One of the fun books that I loved was Beach Road. If you like mysteries, you’ll love this book! There were so many surprises that I didn’t expect. This is a great summer read! Post your favorites in the comments below.

This post contains affiliate links through which I will receive a small compensation when you click through and purchase, so if you decide to purchase anything, thank you!

We always took our kids on vacation every year. I highly recommend that! They both say they enjoyed our family time together. I know money can be tight, especially when you are a teacher. If you have children, try your best to put some money away for a family vacation. It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip. We would drive to the beach and it became something our kids wanted to do every summer. It was worth giving up some other things during the year so we could go on a family vacation. You are building memories, and you can’t put a price tag on that!

We always went to the beach right before I had to return to school in August. I enjoyed going then, so I felt rejuvenated before I had to go back to school.

There were some summers that I taught summer school and that started in July and lasted 3 or 4 weeks. It was a lot easier than teaching during the year and we got out at noon, so that wasn’t too bad. I will say that it does make for a much shorter summer. I also took classes in the summer to get points for my recertification, and to work on my Masters. I had to attend some professional conferences, and I led professional conferences in the summers.

In August, I would have to go back for teacher meetings and never felt like I had enough time to get my room ready for my darlings that would soon be at my door. Why is it that principals always feel like we need to be in so many meetings at the beginning of school when we need that time to get ready to be the best teacher we can be for our students? Wouldn’t it be great if we were actually allowed the time that is needed in our classrooms? I was fortunate to have a daughter who would come in and help me set up my classroom. She always had great ideas, and now she is a teacher herself, and now I am helping her with her classroom in between creating educational products. How great is that!

Don’t you just love these book bins? I got them at Walmart a few years ago, so I don’t know if they still carry them.

If you want an alternative, check out the book bins that I talked about in my organizational post.

Well, as you can see, summers for this teacher were pretty busy. I know some of you are like I was and continue working on your teaching skills and taking courses and you may be presenting yourselves.

Regardless of what you do with your time, make sure you relax, rejuvenate, and take care of yourself. Teaching is demanding enough throughout the school year, especially if you had a particularly difficult admin, parent, class, etc. Take some time in the sun, go on a vacation, read a book, treat yourself to a spa day, or whatever else works for you. The most important thing for teachers to do this summer is take care of themselves.

Please share what you do to recharge over the summer or any great books that you have read!

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