The countdown is on for summer vacation. Students are not the only ones staring at the calendar. Substitute teachers are marking off the days until they don't have to keep the ringer on high, to catch early morning calls for jobs. They long for being able to stay up past nine o'clock on school nights and letting the GPS rest, from having to find obscure schools.
But what do substitute teachers do in the summer? Well, there are all kinds of opportunities for fun and educational trips for summer. One exciting option is to volunteer abroad. Continue your first love of teaching, combined with travel and immersion in entirely different lifestyles and cultures. See the sights you taught all these years. Organizations like crossculturalsolutions.org and www.worldteach.org offer volunteer opportunities. Or if you'd just like to try travel as a student, a company called Educational Tours at www.eftours.com specializes in just such outings.
Along with travel this summer, take the time to unplug and get away from anything remotely to do with classrooms. Enjoy adventures in the outdoors, whether it be hiking or floating down a river in an inner tube. Spend as little time as possible indoors and use these months to spread your wings. Take up golf or other sports you love or go horseback riding. Remember to take lots of pictures, so you will have proof you didn't fall off, or you did skydive (with your eyes closed). Your students can only be impressed that a "teacher" did some cool things on her summer break.
The internet is a treasure trove of little jewels for you to visit, even close to home. Give yourself the gift of suspending time. Leave your watch at home and be as "unscheduled" as you can stand. You will have the chance to reflect on the past school year, from all the things that went well, to mini-disasters that you lived through. Focus on changes you want to make for the upcoming year. So, why are you still waiting? Start planning your summer fun today!