- Summer needs to be a time of rest and an intentional reset yourself for the next school year.
- Summer as a new teacher can involve working at a summer camp or summer school. You can take professional development. Or you can work seasonally for a local business.
Congratulations! You have (almost) made it to the end of the school year! I know this New Teacher series has impacted a wide collection of educators, but I wanted to shout out one cohort in particular: first-year teachers. This year has been the hardest year for ALL educators, but if you are ending your very first year in the classroom, you have demonstrated more resilience, creativity, and grit than any other teacher. You’ve quite literally been thrown in the ocean in a storm, rather than just ‘the deep end of the pool’ that every other teacher experienced in their first year, and you made it! We are all so proud of you.
The upcoming summer needs to be a time of rest and an intentional reset yourself for the next school year. You can find a lot of great resources for mental health, self care, and summer learning opportunities all here on the Teach Better Blog! However, for a lot of newer teachers who are still on the bottom of the pay scale, the summer needs to be a time for supplemental income. I wanted to share a few ideas that you can set up today to ensure your summer is both a relaxing break and financially stable.The upcoming summer needs to be a time of rest and an intentional reset yourself for the next school year. Click To Tweet
If you were a virtual/hybrid teacher all year…
You should consider finding a summer camp position! Being around children was most likely a contributing factor when you decided to become a teacher (I hope!) and was something you missed out on this year. Working at a summer camp will give you some time with kids, without the pressure of meeting curriculum deadlines and without touching a computer.
In addition to the perks of boosting your vitamin D intake and giving your eyes a break from the screen, a summer camp will also allow you to keep up a daily schedule and routine, and returning to school in September will be a lot easier.
Summer as a New Teacher: If you really want a break…
Check out the Extended School Year or Summer School openings in your district or local area. These programs typically last between 2-6 weeks and pay an equivalent teaching salary for a shortened day. This might be a great way to build even stronger relationships with your challenging students, or teach a new grade level in preparation for schedule shifts next year. Either way, this will be a great way to earn a little extra in the beginning of the summer to support a fun break in August.
Summer as a New Teacher: If you are looking for something more flexible…
Look for some online curriculum positions. Many educational groups are seeking teachers to review or create content and courses—bring your expertise to a new organization, while still (usually) working at a time and schedule that is best for you!
Summer as a New Teacher: If you are looking for professional development…
There are some organizations or foundations that actually pay teachers to get professional development. Explore your area for non-profits hoping to expand their message to students through teachers, or look online for grants in an area of personal interest. For example, to my fellow English teachers, did you know there are ways you can get paid to go to England and study Shakespeare for a week? How cool is that! Many application deadlines for experiences like this are quickly approaching though, so keep an eye out early.[scroll down to keep reading]
Summer as a New Teacher: If you want nothing to do with teaching for 8 weeks…
There are a lot of potential community partnerships you could build if you left the education field and went to work seasonally for a local business. Even if you believe you want to separate from standards and students for a while, you could still use a non-educational job to your advantage in the classroom (check out Rae’s Teach Further work) or continue to strengthen relationships with your local families.
I know the first few years of teaching are a challenge in the classroom, but they can be financially challenging too. Hopefully some of these ideas speak to you as ways to continue building your fiscal foundation while still intentionally taking care of your mental health in your much-needed vacation.
This is the conclusion of our New Teacher series! Thank you all so much for taking this journey with me, and the #TeachBetter family. I wish you all the best of luck and skill as you continue your journeys in the greatest profession ever!
About Erin Healey
Erin is an English teacher at Chariho High School, in Rhode Island. She is the founder of the Young Educators Society of Rhode Island (@yesriorg), a Highlander Institute Fuse Fellow, current Master’s student studying Education Technology at the University of Connecticut, and can always be found drinking coffee (preferably a PSL)!