Summer is coming! Whether we like it or not the year has a habit of going at lightspeed, some months, and a snail’s pace another. With academies and schools closing for the summer and the money drying up, we all need to diversify and find ways to keep ourselves entertained, moving forward and earning a few pennies too. Here are 5 things to do in the summer:
1) Professional Development
Keep on developing. There is always more we can learn, despite there being several people who think they’ve learnt it all. From those paper things with words in, to websites and courses, there is always a way to develop. Here a few things we use to help us in our quest for knowledge:
- Cambridge University Press
- Cambridge English
- British Council online courses
- American TESOL Institute
- Macmillan Education ELT
- Coursera and Future Learn
- Blogs (join our Facebook group, Teaching in Spain, where we share blogs and teaching resources)
2) Summer schools/camps or volunteer
For most of us, we can’t afford to stop over the summer so summer schools are a great way of getting yourself into a different teaching environment and, if you’re lucky, another country. We both work in a summer school in England and the quality of support and wages is far better than in Spain, albeit only for 8 weeks, but it is a great experience for everyone involved.
Summer camps are another great way of earning and hopefully going to a nice place too. More game orientated then summer schools they offer a fun alternative after a heavy year of teaching.
With the all to recent immigration crisis, there are thousands of displaced people desperate to learn English. Volunteering is a great way to give something back and there may be a centre in your very city that offers free classes to immigrants.
3) Tidy up, declutter your book collection/ materials.
On a more calming note, you could finally reorganise all those books you’ve collected and donate the ones you don’t need. Organisation is the key to a successful year and starting the collection for next year is always a good idea when you have the time.
4) Declutter your mind
Decompress! A stressful year of teaching takes its toll on everyone. Those Instagram quotes about teachers can only keep you going for so long. Stress-related illnesses are becoming more and more common in our field, whether they are happening more or being talked about more is by the by, it appears to be on the rise.
Finding some time for yourself or a welcome distraction is easier said than done but is vital if you want to avoid a total breakdown. My tips would be:
- find something healthy to do/exercise
- go on holiday either become a tourist in your city or go to the Caribean on an all expenses paid cruise!
- restart that hobby you dropped eg knitting, adult painting
- try to learn that language you’ve always wanted to learn.
Here are some websites to help you, if you decide to do the latter:
5) Look for the perfect place for the next academic year and relax
Perhaps this year wasn’t your year. I know for us, it was definitely not our year. I needed a job fast as time was running out and I went for the first one I could find… and was promptly fired from it for being ill… However, it gave me a strong perspective on what I want and what I don’t want for the next academic year. It could be time for a change, a change of country or even a change of academy all can work wonders for your career and open up new horizons. It is a big leap of faith sometimes but if you start early and pick a place you really want to go to then it may just be worth it.