For many educators, the beginning of a new school year is only days away. There will be plenty to do. Aside from welcoming students, teachers will need to set expectations for the semester, foster community amongst classmates, and implement new tools for making learning memorable, meaningful, and fun. These first few days can be crucial to the overall success of the school year, but they have not arrived yet. There is still a bit of summer left and it’s important that educators use this time wisely. So, how exactly should these last days of summer be spent?

First, teachers should use this time to rest and refresh themselves. The days ahead will be busy, and if teachers wear themselves out trying to prepare for every eventuality, they will crash and burn before the school year has even begun. Instead, it is best to adopt a marathon mindset: nothing strenuous before the big race! Take this time to pursue things that give you energy. Consider spending time outdoors. Treat yourself to a good meal with friends, or practice meditation as a way of reducing stress. By putting yourself first, you’ll be ready and fully charged when the doors open on the first day of school.

Next, teachers should look into developing their soft skills. Soft skills are quickly becoming one of the top trends in modern education. While factual knowledge is important, things like empathy, emotional intelligence and communication are invaluable to a professional environment. This is especially true for teachers, who not only need to build healthy rapport with their students but should also have mutually supportive relationships with their fellow educators. Fortunately, Blue Apple has several free resources that specialize in building Collaboration and Communication as well as a healthy Work-Life Balance. With so many new strategies to explore, you’ll be well-equipped for the interpersonal challenges of the new year.

Finally, teachers need to be prepared for the presence of AI in their classrooms this fall. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize education. From helping with lesson plans to providing feedback for students, AI programs like ChatGPT are quickly taking on responsibilities that teachers have shouldered for generations. However, AI also comes with its share of technical and ethical problems. Students who aren’t taught how to use these tools responsibly will likely use them to cheat on homework or worse. As such, spend some time familiarizing yourself with these programs and be ready to integrate them responsibly into lessons.

If you found this advice to be helpful, be sure to check out more free resources available from Blue Apple. Teachers can take advantage of informative webinars, discover the latest timely topics being discussed in classrooms, and even browse through teacher-tested instructional strategies. For now, though, teachers should simply focus on being present in these fleeting summer moments. With a new school year on the horizon, educators must remember that every second counts. By following these examples, teachers can become the champion their school’s need, and maybe even learn a little about themselves in the process.

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