by Kelly Campman, FOR Club Director
By now, you have gotten into the groove of summer break. That stress that you felt in May has slowly slipped away, and you are in a state of relaxation, at least a little. It’s time to enjoy the benefits of summer break and the short hiatus from an educator’s world.
We know that teachers never really have a “break” from their pedagogical thoughts, plans, and professional learning, but there are definitely some mental health benefits when taking a break from the day to day stress in the life of an educator.
Here are a few mental health benefits from summer break:
Stress reduction: Time off from work, including summer break, can contribute to reducing stress levels. Teachers often face high levels of stress due to the demands of their profession, such as heavy workloads, time pressure, parent challenges, and student-related challenges. Taking a break can provide an opportunity to relax, rejuvenate, and recover from stress.
Psychological well-being: Vacations and breaks are associated with improved psychological well-being, including increased positive mood, life satisfaction, and overall happiness. These benefits can extend to teachers during the summer break, as you have the chance to engage in activities they enjoy, spend time with family and friends, and pursue personal interests.
Work-life balance: Teachers often experience a significant imbalance between work and personal life during the academic year. The summer break offers an opportunity for teachers to recalibrate this balance, dedicating more time to self-care, relaxation, and pursuing non-work-related interests. This can contribute to improved mental health and overall life satisfaction.
Burnout prevention: Teacher burnout is a prevalent concern, with long hours, heavy workloads, and emotional demands taking a toll on educators. Summer break can act as a protective factor against burnout by providing teachers with a substantial period of time away from work. It allows you to recharge, recover, and return to your profession with renewed energy and motivation.
Professional development and reflection: While summer break is primarily associated with rest and relaxation, it can also be an opportunity for teachers to engage in professional development and reflection. Teachers can use this time to attend workshops, conferences, or pursue advanced degrees, which can enhance their development, skills, and knowledge. This subsequently contributes to a sense of professional fulfillment.
Continue to languish in your time away from school, and be sure to give yourself a real break!
Happy July…Enjoy the rest of your summer!