Four Productive Ways for Teachers to Unwind During their Downtime

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Teaching is often cited as one of the most stressful jobs around, and it's not hard to imagine why. High expectations from administrators and constantly changing legislation combined with long hours and relatively low pay come with the territory. 

Four Productive Ways for Teachers to Unwind During their Downtime

However, teaching is a highly rewarding field with plenty of perks, such as extended holidays and summers off.

That being said, the importance of how teachers spend their downtime is easy to overlook. While it may be tempting to spend your time off in front of the television, it's prudent for teachers to remain happy, healthy, and productive while they're off work. Although teachers certainly should take some time for themselves, it also pays for your personal and professional development to consider some more constructive activities as well.

The following activities during your time off will not only keep your mind sharp, but also ensure that you go back to school ready and refreshed when students return to the classroom.

Four Productive Ways for Teachers to Unwind During their Downtime

Start Working On Your Side Gig

As noted earlier, low pay is a problem for teachers. This is especially true for those who won't take their paychecks over the summer. Therefore, it's common for teachers to rely on part-time jobs to make ends meet.

But what if you instead took the time to start your own side gig to work on your terms and not somebody else's? 

Doing so may be easier than you think. For example, you could get involved in the Tim Sykes Challenge to get your feet wet with day trading and penny stock. Likewise, there are endless Internet marketing opportunities out there for newbies looking to make some passive income, or sell your creative work on sites like etsy. 

There's perhaps no better time than the summers to start focusing on your side gig, so spend your time wisely and try to find opportunities that offer a balance between time and money spent.

 Four Productive Ways for Teachers to Unwind During their Downtime

Take the Time to Travel

The most obvious “to do” for teachers during their time off is to travel. That being said, you don't necessarily need to feel the need to plan a giant excursion that's going to burn a hole in your pocket - instead, take multiple smaller trips. On the flip side, if you do decide to go out of the country, for example, strive to go somewhere that you've never been before in an effort to see more of the world. Your teaching - and students - will be greatly enriched.

Summer after summer, you can stamp your passport or explore unknown territory rather than go to the same places again and again. Regardless of how you decide to travel, keep your budget in mind and remember once again that prolonged time off is a rarity in the working world...take advantage of it!

Finally Focus On Your Hobbies

You probably find yourself missing out on your favorite hobbies during the school year when all you want to do is crash on the couch when you get home, right? Whether you're interested in art, music, or fitness, summer's the ideal time to set goals and take time for personal development. Take the time every day to play - and focus on your hobbies. You might turn it into an income stream, but you can always relax and enjoy it!

Keep Yourself Sharp with Daily Reading

Likewise, you should try to learn something new every day, just as you would teach your students. You can either focus on fiction that you don't have time for during the school year, nonfiction to learn more about subjects that interest you, or professional development books to get you hyped for the classroom. While you don't need to obsess over the future, you may want to spend the end of your summer mentally preparing yourself for returning students and read some professional literature accordingly.

In short, make sure to spend your summers wisely. Enjoy your free time with family, spend time and energy toward personal growth, and include travel and other cultural learning activities. You will be glad you did!

Four Productive Ways for Teachers to Unwind During their Downtime


What do you do, during your summers off? We'd love to hear...