Teacher Summer Plan - Rest, Recharge, and Refresh

Teacher Summer Plan - Rest, Recharge, and Refresh

Let me guess, you’re at the point where you’re starting the official countdown to summer! Whether break is days or weeks out, either way it can’t come soon enough and I know it is well deserved 👏

Teaching is one of those professions that unless you are in it, you don’t truly understand the amount of time, mental and emotional energy it requires to do the job. 

Hopefully you have plans to travel and enjoy time with your friends and family, but most importantly, making time to do absolutely nothing can also bring the rest your mind and body really needs.

For some, doing “nothing” could be literally laying on the couch and binge watching a favorite show, getting daily walks in or diving into the books you’ve been wanting to read. Either way, it’s no secret how important it is for educators to take time to rest, recharge and remind yourself of why your role as an educator is so impactful for so many!

Giving yourself time to step away from work is exactly what you need to have the energy to go back to the next school year and actually be able to tackle all the “to-do’s” and curriculum changes you probably told yourself you’d get to during the year.

At least that’s what I tell myself! 🙃

Here we’re going to cover the importance and how-to’s of resting and covering over summer break, early curriculum planning and something I’m so excited to share with you 🙌 . 

REST: Self-Care 🫶 Physical Health 🧘 Mental Health 😀

While taking time to rest and recharge sounds simple enough, I wanted to share with you some tangible steps and activities that you can do this summer to make sure that you really are making self-care a priority. If you’re just finishing up year 1 teaching, it might surprise you how quickly the summer goes by, so putting your self-care at the top of the list is a must! Before going into summer break, make a quick list of activities and hobbies that you may not have been able to try during the school year. 

Summer break is the perfect opportunity for teachers to get physically active! It’s no secret the physical and mental health benefits of physical activity, so maybe start incorporating daily walks, go with a friend to a new yoga class, swimming, anything to keep your body moving and you at your best!

Speaking of mental health, PBS Teacher Lounge shared a finding from the National Education Association that 90% of educators reported that burnout is a serious problem. As teachers we put so much effort into creating engaging lessons, assessing student comprehension, finding ways to connect to our students, creating a classroom environment that feels safe…it’s just exhausting. 

At the same time, we became educators because we love to teach, we love science and we love to share our love of science. 

But, it’s up to us to take advantage of opportunities where we can push pause on teacher mode and take care of ourselves. Practices like meditation, journaling, mindfulness or getting support through a therapist who can help with establishing boundaries both personal and professionally are all great options. Essentially, the take-away here is to focus on you, even if it’s only 10 minutes a day!

RECHARGE: Curriculum Updates 📋

So many teachers start to struggle with the end of summer and already feel overwhelmed when the thought of preparing for the next school year comes to mind.

 Here 👇 is an incredibly powerful tip you can do today that can make all the difference:

  • Make a quick bullet point of labs / projects done throughout the year, or perhaps just start with the first quarter.
  • Next, for each listed lab, reflect on what worked well and what needs to be swapped out or updated and write it out. 
  • These can be simple notes reminding you to fix a spelling error or update a link. There have been plenty of times when I’ve intended to update a lesson, but with all the things that go into a day of teaching, that one update is forgotten until it’s used the next school year. 

By taking the time now to review and reflect on the past year’s curriculum, it will allow you to go in with clear goals and put energy towards lessons that need more attention than others. We’re working smarter, not harder 😏

Keeping up on research 🔬

Keeping up to date on scientific discoveries and research is a great practice to be one step ahead! If you’re feeling up to it and when you find yourself with some down time, start to read through websites and see what you can pull from it to update those listed labs you jotted down in the previous tip!

Here are a few of my go-to scientific websites when I want to keep my biology and environmental curriculum current and applicable:

💻NPR: Science


💻Live Science 

💻Science Daily 

💻IFL Science

Curriculum Alignment 📖

Of course, it’s always important to ensure that any new material added to existing curriculum or when creating new lessons that each piece aligns with NGSS. If you’ve been following along with Keystone Science for a while, or if you’re a new reader, then taking a peek at the 5 Steps to Align your Current Curriculum with NGSS would be an excellent place to start! 

REFRESH: Preparation for the Next Year

If you’re an early planner and love getting a head start into the next school year, then you’re going to LOVE my Back to School blog series coming out this summer 😎. 

The series will give actionable steps on planning your curriculum, creating effective and engaging science resources, and opportunities for professional development workshops.

By the way, did you know that PBS offers FREE professional development courses and workshops?! These can even be filtered by grade level, resource type and topic. 

PBS Professional Development truly has some amazing resources that I guarantee you will find helpful. 

Ok, now what I’ve been so excited to share!🥳

This year I will be presenting at the Champions for Science virtual conference where myself and other science teachers will share fun labs and activities you can add to your own curriculum. 

The Champions for Science Virtual Conference runs from July 14 - July 17 and this 4 day series is completely FREE. 🤯

Sign up here for the Champions for Science Conference if you’re a science teacher looking to up your game when it comes to interactive lessons.

I also have TONS of ready-to-use biology, chemistry and environmental science activities and labs that you can preview now. 

Feel free to take a look at the Keystone Science Resources and see what catches your eye 👀.


While I hope these resources and tips for early planning are helpful, it’s also important to remember the value of allowing yourself to fully rest and recharge first, before you start to prepare for the next academic year. 

Finding a balance and creating boundaries between work and personal time can be tricky when in the classroom, so it’s essential to start to practice self-care and prioritize yourself today, whatever that means for you.

When you’re ready to start preparing for the new school year, visit Keystone Science where you can join the community and receive support via email, instagram and curriculum resources. 

To be the first to know about the Back to School blog series this summer and other tips, I would love for you to join the Keystone Science Community!

If you’re wanting more, here you go:

💡Feel free to explore Keystone Science for ready-to-use high school biology & ecology NGSS aligned activities.

💡Subscribe to my email list for weekly tips direct to your inbox.

💡Follow me on Instagram for daily tips, motivation, and facts you can use in your classroom!

🌟Share in the comments or email me directly 👉🏻 admin@keystonesciencepa.com

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