Earlier this year I wrote a post about Active Recovery for Educators. The blog highlights the need for not only recovery during times of rest, but active recovery. This term is mostly used in athletic settings. The idea is that an athlete should not take entire days off, but instead do lighter activities so their bodies are still recovering without completely taking off. This helps your body transition more easily from active to non-active and vice versa.
I can struggle with finding that perfect balance between active recovery, complete recovery, and completely active. I have been “off work” for a month now. In that month I have taken a graduate class, gone to a work conference for AVID in Dallas, attended my son’s baseball tournaments every weekend, and started remodeling the kitchen. Along with everything else I have also begun looking at ways to allow myself to recover from the previous school year and to actively prepare for the upcoming year. I decided to write down 10 ideas for fellow educators to engage in active recovery this summer with me that do not break the bank.
Read a Book
Throughout the school year I have several books that I am reading and studying to better serve my students. I love these books and can completely get lost in them. The summer is a good time to either get caught up on those educational books that piled up over the school year or to pick up a book that is purely for fun and for yourself. Listening to an audio book is another great way to get to more books than you may have time to actually sit down and read. My current audio book on my play list is Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies and I have quite enjoyed it.
Be a Tourist in Your Own Town/State
Two summers ago was one of my favorite summer vacations we have taken as a family and we did not even leave the state of Arkansas. I was born and raised in Arkansas and yet I had never gone down to Southern Arkansas and dug for diamonds which we are famous for. So after 28 years, my husband and I loaded up the car with camping equipment and both kids and headed out on an Arkansas vacation. It was so neat to see what all my state had to offer and to share that with my children. This summer we have spent our free time checking out local affairs, such as the free summer concerts series featuring The Dip at JBGB, volunteering at the BITE event in Bentonville at the BrightWater culinary school, and hitting up some local breweries. If you live in NWA you may not realize just how much there is to do here, we have stayed busy and yet barely scratched the surface of everything that is offered in this quaint community.
Develop a Workout Routine
This has been one of the harder parts of active recovery, but also one of the most rewarding. Every day I do something active; go on a bike ride, go for a run/walk, climb, circuit workout, hiking… I figure if I develop these habits now it will be easier to keep them throughout the school year. I will touch base again in October and share how my workout routine is going!
Try New Recipes in the Kitchen
Okay, so being honest, getting a home cooked meal on the table 5 nights a week during the school year is nearly impossible with my busy schedule. Add on to that my kids getting older and busier as well. This summer we are actively trying new foods and recipes and it has been such sweet time with my kids and I. We also tried Plated and was very surprised with how good the food is. We will be doing this throughout the school year so that we can keep up trying new foods without having to spend too much time picking out recipes and grocery shopping.
Learn a New Hobby
This summer I have taken on trying to learn how to sew. I had a pile of clothes that have needed to be hemmed or fixed. With technology such as YouTube you can learn just about anything, for instance, how to put a zipper back on its tracks if it has come off on one side.
More than going floating, getting outside is a huge part of active recovery for me. I need to be surrounded by natural beauty and soak up as much as a I can before the school year returns. Floating is my preferred way of getting outside because of the scenic views, little workout from paddling, the adrenaline rush of the rapids, and then the relaxation throughout the float.
Attending Educational Conference/Road Trip
During the summer is a great time to hone in your skills and learn new strategies for the upcoming school year. When choosing which conferences to attend it is always a good idea to start by looking at the cities you want to visit and go from there. Last summer I got to road trip to Chicago for a Pre-AP conference, New Orleans for a Solution Tree RTI conference, and recently returned from Dallas attending an AVID conference.
Do a DIY Project in Your Home
I can tell you from personal experience of what NOT to do, do not pick too many projects the day you get out of school. You will end up with a garage full of old pieces of furniture, old appliances, new appliances, wet saws, back splash pieces, new light fixtures, and all of the things that are typically in the garage minus your vehicles. When doing home improvement projects make sure to do one at a time. Make a list of priorities at the beginning of the summer and then begin ticking them off as you go, only starting a new one when the one before is finished. This will help keep you and your family sane for the summer.
I never realize just how much stuff we accumulate throughout the year until it is time for Summer Cleaning. **There is no such thing as spring cleaning when you are a teacher, spring time is for testing and survival mode. So once you have gone through the house and pulled out all of the things you do not need go ahead and have a garage sale. This will help bring in a few extra dollars and will make you happy with the newly cleaned and organized house.
Participate in Educational Twitter Chats
This last one is my new favorite and is completely free! There are always educational twitter chats going on that anyone can join. My three favorites are #edchat, #edtechchat, and #LeadUpChat. With twitter you can always search a topic you are interested in and find great resources and meet new people to follow. Summer time is a time to learn new technology if you are not used to it and prepare for the following school year.