As another school year ends, students and educators face transitions. And while summer may be eagerly anticipated, transitions are not easy for everyone.
For some educators, this marks the completion of their first year. For others, it is the end of a lifelong career and the start of retirement.
Because people experience transitions in different ways, reactions will vary widely. You may feel joy, relief or a sense of accomplishment; you may feel bittersweet about time’s passage and life’s changes; you may even experience anxiety with so much unstructured time to fill.
Because most educators thrive on routine and schedule, accept that the transition to summer may be difficult.
Here are some ways to have a healthy transition to summer:
Build some structure into your days. Meet friends, learn new skills or prepare for the school year ahead.
Think of summer as a time for rejuvenation and self-care. Consider taking a class or pursuing an activity.
Expect ambiguity. Make plans, but try to be flexible and take advantage of opportunities that arise.
Step back to see the big picture. Reflect on your challenges and accomplishments this school year, the students you reached and your own learning curve. What new teaching strategies will you use and which lessons or activities will you tweak or toss?
Appreciate the down time. Before you know it, September will be here, so take time to recharge, read, socialize and relax.
Eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep and exercise.
Practice gratitude daily, meditate, keep a journal and focus on the positive.
Stay connected to your union, which supports you during the school year and in the summer.
If you have questions or need support, call a UFT borough office or the UFT Member Assistance Program, which is open all summer.
The UFT Member Assistance Program offers short-term counseling and outside referrals to help you deal with a wide range of issues. You can contact MAP by calling 212-701-9620 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Appointments and referrals are available Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 50 Broadway in Manhattan.