Six Simple Summer Savers

It’s the summer and as teachers we have six weeks to enjoy. I advocate lots of walks, loads of food and bucket loads of relaxation. I don’t think we need to work too hard and I certainly think we need to recharge. But I hope these six simple summer savers will help you save time in September.

  1. Planning ahead is important and doesn’t take nearly as long as you think. Save time in September by mapping out the first half term of lessons. You don’t need to plan in too much detail or rewrite everything. But a half term ahead overview is always going to put you in a good place. I like to think about knowledge, skills, activities and repertoire for each topic.
  2. That new software you want to introduce, why not spend some time playing with it this summer. I sat on Soundtrap the other day for about an hour just listening to the new loops on there. A simple summer saver that will get you ready for sharing the new software with your students. It is important that you have played around with something to find out how it works and discover the shortcuts and ideas. I would apply this to an instrument as well. If you are thinking of doing some whole class guitar, ukulele or trombone, they you might benefit from playing that instrument as much as possible. If you are thinking of intorudcving some song writing to your curriculum, then maybe write some summer songs!
  3. Reading is something I love in the summer. I get a pile of books ready and I try to have as much variety as possible. I always like to throw in a book linked to teaching as I feel this helps me mentally prepare for September and the potential challenges ahead. One book for this summer is called “Boys’ Don’t Try” by Matt Pickett.
  4. Listening to music ahead of the year is really useful, especially as repertoire is crucial. I have already made a list of the music I am embedding in my curriculum, so now I need to get to know it. This is a simple summer saver but one that really makes a difference. When we walk into a lesson and really know the repertoire we are using, the students benefit. I like to call this deliberate listening, where we choose to specifically listen to music with a focus or aim.
  5. My calendar is often rather full, and I have pretty much mapped out the year ahead. Something I am now doing is blocking out time in advance so that I don’t fill my life with too much work. Simple to do over the summer, open your calendar and block out some time for you. Your wellbeing is important and it is something that we do need to plan for. But it doesn’t need to stress you out, just block out some evenings!
  6. It isn’t always nice to go back into school over the summer, and it may not even be possible. But I do like to pop in and have a tidy ahead of September. That first inset day is always fairly full on, and so I like to be ahead of the game. Plus I always forget to put my bin out on the last day of term and my office will often smell pretty bad.

So there are six simple summer savers that will hopefully help you get a little bit ready for September. We can never be totally ready, but we can move closer to that point. No matter what stage you are at in your career, it is important to get to September feeling refreshed and ready. These ideas will hopefully give you something to think about – but not whilst you are on the beach or out walking. Save these six simple summer savers for when you are sat down at your desk ready to do some thinking!

Happy Summer!

Leave a Reply