Read. Pray. Exercise.
5 Ways to Recharge This Summer Break
By: Rasha El-Haggan
Sometimes what gets us teachers through the hullabaloo of the school year is looking forward to a summer of 6-8 weeks of uninterrupted “ME” time. But like most teachers, we’ve spent our school year dreaming of summer, that we forgot to plan how we will spend it.
No Fear – the ISLA Recommendations for Summer is Here! The following are some things to do over the summer so that it doesn’t pass you by:
1. Reconnect with Allah (SWT)
Summer time is perfect for spiritual rejuvenation – a time to reconnect with Allah (SWT). This is the time when you actually pray your fard right when it comes in (and not 5 minutes before it ends). This is the time to pray with your family in Jama’a and reap the benefits of the congregational prayer. Pick a duaa, hopefully one that would benefit you during the summer, and memorize it – I recommend memorizing morning and afternoon athkar. Read the Quran each morning before/after fajr (hey, you’ll have time to sleep in later in the day). You can even get the chance to pray Jumuah at the masjid or attend those sister/brother Halaqas!
2. Revitalize Your Physical Health
Because you spent the whole year eating on the go, whether you ate that lunch during a collab meeting, or downed your 4th cup of coffee writing report card comments, you’ve really not taken care of your physical health. Remember that your body is an Amana from Allah (SWT). Use the summer time to revitalize it. Buy yourself a Fitbit or splurge on an Apple Watch and let those tools help motivate you to MOVE. Be sure to walk/run for 30 minutes each day, join a gym, join a health group, go hiking with your children. Take those after-dinner-walks in the summer night with your spouse.
3. Disconnect & Reconnect
Teachers have to always be plugged in during the school year. We are constantly checking our emails, inputting grades, searching for sources, creating lesson plans…etc. Being constantly plugged in can be very stressful. Be sure to take time this summer to completely disconnect from all devices. Turn off your phone, stop checking FaceBook/Instagram/Twitter, put your email on vacation mode and turn off all your WhatsApp notifications. You’d be surprised how much time you have after you’ve disconnected. With all that extra time, reconnect with colleagues, friends and family. Arrange a casual coffee or an amazing lunch with a friend, take your kids to the pool or the park or even bake something healthy with your spouse.
4. Embody Life-Long Learning
Our Prophet (PBUH) never stopped learning. His companions also never stopped learning. Just as our students experience brain drain during the summer, so can we as teachers. Be sure to dedicate some of your summer time to learning something new. Join a book club, start a discussion on the ISLA’s IECN, research that teaching strategy you’ve always wanted to implement but never had time during the year, read those articles you’ve saved in your bookmarks. Whatever you do, don’t let the summer pass by without making sure you learn something new.
5. Be Positive (aka Don’t Relive Last Year’s Drama)
Maybe you’re getting THAT student. Maybe you changed grade level assignments. Maybe you’re teaching a new course. Maybe you’ve been promoted and have some additional responsibilities. Whatever the case may be, don’t spend your summer worrying about next year. Be proactive. Make a list of 3 – 4 things you can do this summer to prepare for your new duties/class/grade assignment/THAT student. Remember your first year of teaching? Everything was new and all your students were THAT student. Next school year will be a great learning and growth opportunity. Worrying about it now will only get you psyched out. Ask Allah (SWT) to make things easy for you starting with today, then spend the rest of your summer rejuvenating, revitalizing, resetting, and learning something new.
Now that the year is over, don’t dwell on all the drama that happened last year. Don’t spend the summer months rehashing all the negativity. Use this time to rejuvenate your spirit, revitalize your health, and reconnect with family and friends. Forget last year and all its drama. Next year is a new, fresh beginning.
For other great summer ideas, visit some of the below resources:
- Top 12 Summer Tips for Teachers – Edutopia:
- Top 12 Ways Teachers Can Rock Summer Break – Teachhub.com:
- 6 Things Teachers Should No Do Over the Summer – Bored Teacher: