Beating the Summer Holiday Blues
Posted: 12th August 2021
The summer holidays are here!
End of Year reports, assessments, data inputting, parents evening, transition meetings, transition reports, updating individual learning plans, sports day, end of year assembly…. The list goes on. I like to call all of the above, summer term chaos! All teachers will be able to relate.
The last term of school can be an emotional but stressful time for teachers. They want to ensure they have prepared and got everything organised for their students, to ensure a smooth transition to their next year group, as well as ensuring they feel accomplished with everything they have done throughout the year. Especially during the strange year we have all had.
The one thing that keeps you going through the last few weeks is that little light at the end of the tunnel which is of course… the summer holidays! Many teachers subconsciously have an internal countdown going on in their heads which often starts as soon as the June half term holiday ends. We deserve a break as much as the children do!
Summer Holidays and Mental health
We all know that the summer holiday is a time to relax and take a break, but most teachers never switch off. You will be surprised when you search for ‘teacher summer’ the suggested topics show ‘teacher depression during summer’. As the last school bell brings visions of kids joyfully running out, it can be a very different vision for teachers.
Teachers may spend all year looking forward to a summer break, and when it finally arrives, they are hit with anxiety and depression. However, you are not alone. It is important we remind ourselves that holidays are a time to rest, relax and recap on the year you have just finished. However, the increase in numbers shows there is a massive concern for teachers’ mental health
There are different factors that can contribute to this such as the inability to ‘switch off’, the amount of work teachers are expected to do, pending exam results, student performance, loneliness, financial worries, preparation and purpose. Teachers make such an impact on all students, colleagues and parents lives, so with all the pressure on them throughout the term, is something they are used to. However, having to rewind and slow down for 6 weeks can be difficult.
All teachers will experience different emotions throughout the different weeks. They may start off feeling relaxed and enjoying the break, but it soon becomes a reality, with the stress of getting everything ready for next year. Not having a schedule for the day can make you feel overwhelmed. You must remember it is normal to feel like this, and loads of teachers feel the same. To help calm your feelings we find it easy to talk to others who are experiencing the same. Let go of those negative thoughts and take a rest!
Returning to school
After six weeks of holiday – going out at your own pace, relaxing and catching up with life – the busyness of returning to work can often feel overwhelming. Set your intention for a ‘mindful’ return to school after the holidays.
Returning to school can be an anxious time for teachers. It is important to develop a positive mindset and adjust your way of thinking to see upcoming challenges as opportunities. Reflect on new ideas for work, consider what you already know and acknowledge areas that you find challenging and that need extra research. Be open to change and new learning.
It is important for us to reconnect with ourselves and take five minutes each day leading up to your return to reconnect your purpose. Remind yourself of the reasons why you became a teacher and reflect on the ways you make a difference. It may be as simple as making a child smile.
Focus on your goals, giving you the direction and motivation needed for the academic year. Dont set goals that are unachievable, start measurable so you can monitor and reflect your own personal growth and progress. Be excited to develop new relationships and taking just five minutes a day to meditate can become your daily dose of calm.
We know being a teacher is incredibly rewarding, but it also has its challenges and can be particularly stressful at times. It’s completely normal and healthy to have a certain level of stress, but you might have experienced feelings of anxiety or feel overwhelmed. Taking care of your own wellbeing is important because it can help with building mental resilience and allowing yourself to release your full potential.
Teacher wellbeing is important to help develop your potential, be productive and creative and more resilient when you face challenges at work. If a school is full of happy, healthy teachers who are delivering really good lessons to their full potential, then the school is more likely to have happy students with good outcomes.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t experience stress, emotional upheaval, and even suffering. However, building your resilience by taking care of your wellbeing can give you the strength you need to overcome the challenges you might experience.
Take a look at our video explaining more of the wellbeing journal:
Journaling as a first year teacher
Journaling is a wonderful way to keep your thoughts organised, but also it’s a great way to set goals for yourself and reflect on your achievements. Setting goals and reflecting upon your practise is a huge part of being a teacher.
As a first year teacher, it is now time to embark on an extremely important adventure, the start of your teaching journey. Regardless of the path you took to get to this all-important stage, the next year will always be an extremely special one for you as a developing educator, which is why we believe recording your trials and triumphs of teaching can be rewarding.
Keeping a journal can be a calming way to begin or bookend your school year, making everlasting memories. Journaling allows you to make a note of your thoughts, ideas and feelings you’ve made over the weeks/months/years of teaching. It is a fun way to look back on the memories and activities, but also a great way to see how much you have grown professionally and personally.
Teachers Standards Notebook
As part of professional development / performance management you need to prove that you are meeting the teaching standards. Why not use our Teachers standards notebook to journal your progress as a teacher. – this might also help with imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome refers to an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. It also can link to perfectionism. Some of the common signs include; self-doubt, inability to realistically assess your competence and skills, fear that you won’t live up to expectations or overachieving. While for some people, impostor syndrome can fuel feelings of motivation to achieve, this usually comes at a cost in the form of constant anxiety. You might over-prepare or work much harder than necessary. For more information you can view here.
Teachers have a hard job and are expected to achieve the highest possible standards in their work, ethic and conduct on a daily basis. NQTs and trainee teachers have to provide evidence that they are working in line with teacher standards in order to complete their training. So we have created the perfect resource for you.