Summer To-Do List for Teachers: 17 Great Ideas Worth Doing

If you want to explore new ideas, check off items from a summer bucket list, or keep from getting bored, check out this interesting summer to-do list for teachers.

Initially, the thrill of summer is exciting and much anticipated.

However, after a while, a sense of reality sets in, and strangely, it may feel a bit odd to deviate from a routine you’ve done for the past ten months or so.

If you are feeling this way or just want some summer ideas to keep your mind and body active, read on.

This summer to-list for teachers, whether first-year or seasoned, will keep you busy but balanced during vacation time.

Summer To-Do List for Teachers

Wondering what a teacher should do over the summer? Here is a list of must-do tasks.

1. Re-energize.

Let’s start this summer to-do list for teachers with your core personal needs in mind.

First, take time to do activities that help you relax and recharge such as bike riding, swimming, or catching up with friends at happy hour.

Prioritizing your self-care will help you to relax and enjoy your summer to the fullest.

2. Explore Your City or Town.

If you’re not up for traveling out of state or overseas, explore your own backyard.

Oftentimes, tourists know a city better than the locals. So why not become a tourist in your own town?

Visit the zoo, a museum, a local show, a festival, a fair, a farmer’s market, or any other attraction that interests you.

3. Participate in Professional Development.

Continue to grow professionally by attending professional development seminars in-person or online.

Keep track of the workshops you attend on this free professional development log.

Also, look into the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Education Programs.

National Endowment for the Humanities

These summer workshops, targeted to teachers in grades K-12, offer stipends to educators for attending workshops.

4. Get a Side Hustle.

Many teachers work part-time during the summer months in order to earn extra cash.

The most popular teacher side hustles include tutoring, teaching English online, and instructing summer school.

For more summer job ideas, see these legitimate work-from-home jobs for teachers.

5. Journal.

Daily journaling is a great way to release stress, dream of future goals, and express thoughts.

So get your hands on a notebook, some writing prompts (or just use your own ideas), and journal.

The store Target offers a nice supply of daily journals that appeal to many types of teachers.

6. Organize Your Classroom.

After the last day of school, stay a few days more, and organize your classroom.

Place teaching materials into labeled boxes, throw away the extra paperwork, take down bulletin boards, organize closet space, straighten up your desk drawer, etc.

Leave your classroom tidy, and if you can, lock your important resources in a safe place.

7. Read.

Make a trip to your local library, and check out a few books and/or magazines to enjoy during the summer months.

If you have a library card from your local library, you may be able to “check out” a certain number of digital books or other digital resources from Hoopla.

This is one of the easiest tasks to check off of your summer to-do list for teachers.

summer to-do list for teachers

8. Plan for Next School Year.

Before you get too comfortable with summer slumber, take a few days and plan some basics for the next school year.

This need not be anything complicated.

Think about ordering supplies that need time to be shipped, organizing lesson plans that you know you’ll use in the upcoming school year, and reviewing any new curriculum materials.

If you’re a new teacher, see this first-year teacher classroom checklist.

9. Take Up a New Hobby.

Learn how to play a new instrument, sew an outfit, build something, solve challenging puzzles, etc.

Trying new hobbies is a great way to discover hidden talents and interests.

10. Reflect on Your School Year.

Take some time to reflect on your school year while all is still fresh…

  • What teaching strategies worked/didn’t work?
  • How can your classroom management system be improved?
  • Which activities were most successful in facilitating student growth?
  • Did parent communication foster positive relationships?

Buy a small notebook, jot down the answers to questions such as these, and throughout the summer, brainstorm ways you will try to improve upon these situations.

When school is close to starting, review your notes, and apply throughout the school year the solutions you’ve brainstormed.

11. Create Personal and Professional Goals.

What are your personal and professional goals?

Do you want to become a principal, literacy coach, or educational consultant in the near future?

Maybe you would like to do more professional development presentations.

Where do you see yourself in five years, ten years?

Have you ever dreamed of teaching abroad, taking a year off to travel, writing a book, or starting a business?

The objective is for you to figure out what actions you need to start doing today in order to achieve those goals.

This is one of the most powerful exercises on the summer to-do list for teachers.

12. Volunteer.

Devote time helping out at a local homeless shelter, the local library, a nursing home, or an animal shelter.

You could even volunteer your time to a family member or friend who may need an extra set of hands around the house for a few hours.

13. Reconnect With Friends and Family.

Do you have someone in your life who you haven’t spoken with in a while?

If so, why not write the person a heartfelt letter, send a quick text hello, or call?

summer to-do list for teachers
summer to-do list for teachers

14. Attend Local Meetups.

Want to meet interesting people in your local community with interests similar to yours?

If so, join a Meetup group.

Go to the website, register (it’s FREE!), choose your interests, and then sign up for a few events to attend.

There are a wide variety of interest groups to explore. If none of the Meetups in your area interest you, for a small fee you can start your own.

15. Learn Another Language.

Stimulate your mind, and learn another language.

The language you decide to study will depend on your preferences, job prospects, and geographic location.

16. Obtain Additional Teacher Certifications.

Consider signing up to take additional in-demand certification-by-exam educator tests.

Are you good at higher-level math or science? OR

Do you have a high academic level of the Spanish language or a desire to work with special-needs children?

If so, consider getting certified in high school math, science, bilingual education, ESL, or special education.

Completing this task on your summer to-do list for teachers potentially pays off in terms of career advancement.

17. Do Nothing.

The easiest thing to do on this summer to-do list for teachers?


Stay home, watch TV, sleep, lounge, eat, talk on the phone, and do whatever you want.

If you’re okay with not having to be busy all the time, this is a great option.

Summer To-Do List For Teachers: Q & A

What should teachers do during summer?

During the summer, teachers should do whatever they feel is best for them. That could include relaxing, attending professional development, teaching online, or planning lessons for the upcoming school year.

What should I do the summer before my first-year teacher?

The summer before your first year as a teacher, some tasks you should do include planning the first week of school activities, ordering needed classroom supplies, reviewing classroom management strategies, and getting into a positive mindset about the upcoming school year.

How do teachers relax in the summer?

In the summer, teachers relax by disconnecting from work, traveling, spending time with family/friends, and exploring new hobbies.

Final Thoughts On Summer To-Do List for Teachers

Never be bored again during the summer break.

Keep this summer to-do list for teachers handy when you need fresh ideas to make your vacation time fulfilling.