Summer Blogging Series: 5 Ways to Make Next Year Better

Happy Summer, friends!

Technically, summer isn’t for a few more weeks, but Memorial Day has come and gone, so we are basically in the summer season now! Isn’t it glorious? Summer time in Tennessee means lake days, pool days, hiking, and just being outside for as long as you can manage before the humidity chokes you. I am loving it.

Of course summer is a time to rejuvenate and take a mental break from school, but it’s also a great time for a little PD. And I’m not talking about that PD that your district is hosting at the local high school about your new science standards. I mean PD that you can actually take and use next year., and will make your teaching life BETTER.

I want to do a little series with y’all: 5 Ways to Make Next Year Better. 5 productivity tips for teachers in 5 different blog posts. Today, I want to talk to you about goal setting.

Teacher Productivity Tip #1: Break your Goals Down

As we teachers go through our summers, we are the most well rounded people EVER. We exercise. We eat well. We visit friends. We get our family to all of the doctor and dentist appointments. We read. Then we go back to school and we intend to keep up with those same habits and not ‘lose ourselves’ to the school year, but Back to School season is enough stress to break us all. So we wrestle with the guilt of not eating well enough, not exercising enough, not socializing enough, etc. etc. until we finally just settle into the rut of the school year, and we reside ourselves to 10 months of being in a personal growth slump.

I’m writing this from very personal experience, if you couldn’t tell. Please tell me it’s not just me??

This year, I wanted things to be different. I started getting very serious about goal setting. But, big lofty goals rarely play out well. Think about all of the New Year’s Resolutions that you’ve let fall by the wayside because they were too big.

Start by creating “actionable goals”. These are goals that you can break down into steps, because they are specific and quantifiable. So, instead of saying that you want to keep losing weight this year, change your verbiage to “I am going to lose 10 pounds before the end of the school year”. Instead of “I am going to start meal prepping”. Change it to, “I will prep my meals 3 out of 4 weeks of each month”. Assign a number or value to your goal so that you know when you’ve met it.

Then, break your goal down. If you want to lose 10 pounds, how much do you need to lose at the end of each month, or the end of every 3 months? What do you need to be doing regularly to head in that direction? 10 pounds in one school year would equal one pound a month. One pound a month would require exercising how often? Drinking how much water? Eating what kinds of foods? Break that monthly goal into steps you need to take each week. Cross them off when you’ve done them.

And then, before you know it, you will have crushed your goal and you’ll have changed the trajectory of your life! Meeting one goal is so energizing you become a junkie for it, and you realize that you can actually balance working towards multiple goals at once!

So, let’s not lose ourselves to the school year this fall. We’re not better versions of ourselves in the summer. We’re just truly ourselves, and our coworkers, friends, family, and students deserve that happy, healthy person this time.

As you move towards your school year next fall, you may need a planner that helps you keep all of your loose ends in one place. I have just the one for you! My Teacher To-Do List planner is now in my TPT store! This planner will keep you organized, well-planned, and on top of your goals for this year!


Soak up every second of your summer break, guys. Then bottle that happy teacher up and keep her alive all year long. ❤️

Tip #2 is coming at ya soon! Keep your eyes peeled. 👀

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Stephanie Sutherland