Our Top Summer Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers

Are you looking for professional development opportunities during summer break? Veteran teacher, Shannon, outlines different types of summer professional development that you will want to consider during your time off. She also supports you to consider your goals and provides helpful guiding questions so you pick the most meaningful option. .

summer bucket list

If you’re a teacher or are a friend or family member of a teacher, you know how crucial our summer break truly is - regardless of how many days we actually get in the summer to focus on being normal, typically-functioning human beings, we cherish our days spent doing whatever we want. If you’re a teacher who has wondered, “What am I going to do with my days not spent with my students in the classroom?” here are some fail-proof fun ideas to get you through your rest and relaxation experiences. Start your own summer bucket list, and make this summer one to remember. 

Try A New Workout 

During the summer months, it can be very easy to focus more on liberating the “down time” that we have as teachers, but many educators struggle with finding the right balance between having down time and staying physically fit. Joining a gym or fitness club this summer would allow you to work out, swim, lay in the sun and soak up some vitamin D, meet like-minded people, read a book for pleasure (eek!), or simply blow off some steam that has built up over the school year - staying physically fit can increase your mood, assist in weight management, and fill in the blanks of your down time during the summer weeks/months as a teacher. Many gyms offer childcare, so if you’re worried that your sweet little one will be left out - have no fear! Ensure that there is someone to take care of your precious child while you are taking care of your precious self, both physically and mentally. Gyms may offer reduced rates for teachers and service men and women during the summer months, so check out the deals they may have for you.

Get Together With Friends

 This time you have with people who may or may not be teachers is vital to your overall well-being as a person; many times during the school year, we as teachers do not have adequate time built into our schedules for girls nights or social hours - hit these up while you can in June/July! Invite a friend you haven’t connected with in a while to coffee or lunch and catch up on all the dirt from your favorite Netflix shows, Bachelor/Bachelorette recaps, or small-town talks… this can make or break your friendships, so don’t let another day go by without seeing or hearing from them

Plan a Weekend Getaway

This may come as a surprise to some of you, but taking 3-4 days to travel to places around the nation is quite possibly the most perfect mini-vacation you could take, with or without family! A weekend in the mountains, a quick drive to the beach and a stay at an Air BnB, a flight to a major city to “live it up”, or visiting popular landmarks just an hour or two away from your hometown adds some variety to the weekend pool parties or cookouts. Budgeting for these trips is easy, because you aren’t traveling for long periods of time and many of the places that are popular to take mini-vacations to have great rates on hotels and dining, shopping, and attractions. Take a chance and go somewhere you’ve never been, but isn’t across the globe! #FrugalAndFun

Schedule a Massage or Spa Day

 This, too, can be done with your best gal pals, your sister, mother, or simply yourself. Take some time to refresh and recharge this summer at a local Day Spa - you won’t regret it! For the teachers reading this post, it may be in your best interest to get a deep-tissue massage or ask the masseuse to focus on your stress point areas (feet, shoulders, upper neck, calves) for a more benefiting experience. Turn off your cell phone, don’t answer calls, texts, or emails, and just simply live in the moment in an atmosphere that recharges and revives your spirit. I would want to do this a few days before school starts to “get my mind right” and to refocus for the coming year. Here are more ideas for how to rest and relax this summer for your bucket list. 

Read For Fun

Throughout the school year, I know that teachers spend the large majority of their time reading and studying for professional reasons; this summer, read books of your choice that have nothing to do with education. Or, if they are professionally-oriented, ensure that they are lighthearted or extremely page-turning/interesting. Sign up for a monthly “Book of the Month” membership online through Book of the Month. For less than $15/month, you can select any book and it will get sent to your door within a week for your entertainment. If you are really feeling this, you could even invite some of your friends, relatives, or neighbors to join the club and read the same book and begin your own club.

As always, during this important time of resetting, it is encouraged to do whatever your heart desires. Teachers are hardly ever known to truly take care of themselves, so this is the perfect time to be you and refocus for the next school year. Remember: you can’t pour from an empty cup - get your mind, body, and spirit right for the students who so desperately count on you for 180 days a year.

What's on your bucket list this summer? Share with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Sara is a seven-year veteran teacher and administrator from Clarksville, Tennessee. She has taught in Title I schools her entire tenure as a professional and she has a heart for working with disadvantaged and underserved student populations. She has experience teaching English at the high school level and before she became an administrator, being in the classroom was her ultimate passion and where I felt the most comfortable. When she isn't teaching, she enjoys cooking and home decorating, reading, exercising, and napping.


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