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Embracing the Summer Spirit: Personalized Ways to Celebrate and Unwind for Educators and Students

By Heather Wallace, - Richland School District One


Reflecting on my past three summers, I've been deeply immersed in summer programs, actively engaging in conferences and training sessions, and eagerly participating in networking events. Yet, as the whirlwind of activities swept me along, I found myself at the threshold of the new school year without having fully indulged in personal unwinding sessions. While I felt professionally invigorated, I realized that I lacked the rejuvenation necessary to feel entirely revitalized at the beginning of the new academic year.

As we bid farewell to another school year, I urge you to prioritize yourself this summer. Amidst the hustle and bustle of professional development and preparation, it's essential to carve out moments for personal replenishment. 

Ways to Find Balance

Now, let's explore three personalized ways for administrators, teachers, and students to savor end of the year moments and gear up for a well-deserved break.

1. Reflective Journaling:

  • For Administrators: Set aside time for personal reflection and goal-setting, jotting down thoughts and aspirations for the upcoming school year.

  • For Teachers: Create a shared journal where colleagues can write reflections and words of encouragement for each other, building a supportive community of educators.

  • For Students: Provide prompts or writing exercises to guide students in reflecting on their academic and personal growth from throughout the year, fostering self-awareness and mindfulness.

2. Creative Workshops:

  • For Administrators: Offer resources for teachers to explore new creative outlets over the summer, whether it's attending workshops, purchasing art supplies, or investing in musical instruments.

  • For Teachers: Host a showcase where students can display their creative projects from throughout the year, celebrating their talents and accomplishments.

  • For Students: Encourage students to share their creative interests and hobbies with their peers by leading presentations or demonstrations during a special "talent showcase" day.

3. Staff Appreciation Day:

  • For Administrators: Take a moment to express genuine gratitude to each member of your team. Write personal notes highlighting their unique contributions and efforts.

  • For Teachers: Share stories of appreciation, acknowledging the small acts of kindness and support that have made a difference throughout the year for you.

  • For Students: Create a "thank you" wall where students can write notes of appreciation to their favorite teachers and staff members, fostering a culture of gratitude.

And so…

As we embark on this journey of celebration and relaxation, let's remember to cherish the connections we've made, the lessons we've learned, and the joy we've shared together. 

Here's to a summer filled with laughter, love, and endless possibilities!


About the Author

Heather Wallace is an Assistant Principal in Richland School District One. Her mission embodies the principles of servant leadership, dedicated to providing faculty with the knowledge and resources necessary to support the holistic development of every student. Through collaborative efforts and ongoing professional development, she helps to foster a nurturing environment where each child feels valued, respected, and empowered to thrive. To learn more about Heather, reach out by email at or follow her on X (Twitter) @WallaceH_AP. 



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