The Classroom Teacher, summer 2013

Motivational speaker (and 30-year veteran teacher) Debbie Silver’s best tips for teachers and other classroom professionals looking to “recharge their batteries” this summer:

1. Rebuild your core.

Summer is a good time to take care of those postponed doctor/dentist visits, catch up on lost sleep (seven to eight hours per night), eat healthy (less sugar and fats), and do some regular exercise (cardio at least three times per week).

2. Restore your positivity.

As much as possible, avoid negative people, read encouraging articles and literature, reflect on what went right last school year, engage in activities that bring you joy, and take time to let important people know you are grateful they are in your life.

3. Learn to say “no.”

This is probably the hardest challenge for teachers who are helpers and “fixers” by nature, but learning to set boundaries for yourself and for others may be the
single most important step to take to de-stress. Read about, discuss with others, and practice appropriate ways to limit your involuntary participation in others’ agendas.

4. Plan some downtime.

Sleep does not count as downtime. Along with vacation, purposefully schedule time for activities that soothe your soul. Whether it is sitting quietly on the porch, watching a funny video, walking your dog, or cooking for fun, make time each day for your mind to relax and remain free of major decision-making.

5. Plan something new for next school year.

Focus on something novel for the upcoming school session. Think about a positive aspect of your job you want to enhance or rebuild or something you want to try. Pick a project that re-ignites your enthusiasm for teaching and direct your efforts toward something you can look forward to.

Debbie Silver spent 30 years as a teacher, staff development instructor and university professor. The former Louisiana Teacher of the Year has given presentations around the world and is the author of the best-selling book, Drumming to the Beat of Different Marchers: Finding the Rhythm for Differentiated Learning. Learn more about her at

Bonus Tips!
Read Dr. Adam Saenz's 5 ways to improve your well-being