One of the biggest perks of teaching is summer break. Although these breaks have become shorter and shorter, there is still plenty you can get out of it. You may want to take this time to recover from a long school year, but if you use it wisely, you can not only meet your professional goals but also your financial ones.
Here are some options you could take to make the most out of your summers. Let me know in the comments below if I am missing something.
1) Max out your units. If you have not achieved the highest pay-scale yet, use the summer to gain more units. Most of mine came from summer programs like the ones listed in the link below. Not only did I gain units which increased my salary, but I also revamped my curriculum, improving my skill as a teacher.
2) Find a part-time job that you enjoy. Any extra dollars earned means that you can get closer to achieving the goal of investing 10-20% of your income towards retirement. I have some coworkers who act as travel guides, use their real estate license, help out a friend in their construction work, write books, drive for Lyft, sell crafts of Etsy, sell lesson plans on TeachersPayTeachers, tutor, start a personal finance blog…. Some work summer school, although I am hesitant to recommend this. One of my teaching credential professors was adamant that we never teach summer school, as doing so leads to the loss of the Quan (don’t click on this link at work) and an increased rate of burn-out. If the assignment is short (a couple of weeks), I guess that it’s not too bad of an idea.
3) Spend time with your children. I feel odd about writing this one, seeing as how I have no children. Fortunately, teaching has given me plenty of practice pretending to be an expert on something I know little about. Here is some research I found.
Do what you typically do, but more so. Read to them to improve more than just literacy. Go on hikes. Cook with them to improve math skills. Open up a Roth IRA for them to teach them about personal finance. Teach them a skill like coding. Allow them to fail. All of these will have lasting impacts on the development of your child.
4) Reflect on your teaching. You want to get better at what you are doing. At the end of the year, reflect on what went well and what you can improve upon. If you’ve asked for student feedback with a survey, use that information. Use the lessons to improve your next year. I found that I am better able to do this at the beginning of the summer rather than the end, as I personally lose all work momentum after about a week during the summer.
5) Work out regularly. Eat healthily.