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The Secret to a Purposeful Teacher Summer [episode 79]

woman sitting by the pool- the secret to a purposeful teacher summer

Click below to hear how to plan a purposeful teacher summer:

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Summer break is an opportunity for teachers and educators to recharge, reflect, and prepare for the upcoming school year. But how can you make the most of this precious time off? In this episode, I explore the secret to a purposeful teacher summer, offering practical tips and strategies for making the most of your time off.

I dive into the importance of reflection and goal-setting, offering tips for reflecting on the previous school year and setting goals for the upcoming year. While summer is a time for relaxing, it is also the perfect time for reflection.

Summer is also the perfect time for self-care. I provide practical tips and strategies for prioritizing self-care and offer recommendations for resources and tools to support your well-being.

Whether you’re a new teacher or a seasoned educator, this episode will provide valuable insights and practical strategies for making the most of your summer break as a purposeful and rejuvenating time. Sit back, relax, and discover the secret to a purposeful teacher summer!

Teacher Summer Quote

Key points on how to have a purposeful teacher summer:

  • The importance of reflecting during summer break
  • The benefits of setting goals and intentions for the upcoming school year while on summer break
  • Tips on how to practice self-care during summer break
  • How to have a purposeful teacher summer
  • Our upcoming summer Educate & Rejuvenate conference

Resources mentioned:

Teacher summer-related episodes and blog posts:

Connect with Kelsey:

Read the transcript for episode 79, The Secret to a Purposeful Teacher Summer:

Kelsey Sorenson [00:00:00]:

You are listening to episode number 79 of Wife Teacher Mommy, the podcast. The secret to a purposeful. Summer. If you find yourself relaxing and rejuvenating all summer and then the school year rolls around and you feel a little unprepared or vice versa, we’re here to talk about how you can have a purposeful teacher summer so you can feel rested and rejuvenate, but also ready for the year ahead.

Kelsey Sorenson [00:01:08]:

Welcome to Wife Teacher Mommy: The Podcast. I’m Kelsey Sorensen, a former elementary teacher and current homeschool mom, and even though I’ve been a resource creator since 2014, I’ve realized that printables alone aren’t all you need in order to thrive as a teacher or homeschool parent. That’s why I also created this show and got certified as a life coach to help you finally kick burn out to the curb and feel confident with whatever challenges come your way. With the right mindset, strategies and new teaching inspiration, you’re going to be well on your way to your best teacher life. Now let’s go.

Kelsey Sorenson [00:01:45]:

Welcome to the podcast. I’m so happy you’re here and I have been having so much fun here lately. On the podcast, I’ve been doing two episodes a week starting at the end of March. We’re keeping it going at least through at some point in July, maybe the whole month, and I’ve loved it. I’ve been connecting with amazing guests while still keeping these solo episodes like this one going on, which I want to do because I have so much I want to share with you as far as mindset and teaching ideas and strategies and things that you could use that I just want to share with you. But I also love bringing in other experts and their expertise. It’s been a lot of fun. So be sure to, if you haven’t yet, go back and listen to the episodes I’ve been doing the past little while because we’ve had some incredible guests like Christina Kuzmich and Karen Crabtree and Sierra Harris and so many amazing people who’ve been on the show, christy Nichols and are going to be on the show. We’ve got some amazing episodes coming up, like an interview with Angela Watson. Just can’t wait for you to listen to all of these. But if you missed two episodes ago, it was one where I talked about how to make an intentional plan and actually stick to it. I actually just recorded that episode before this one, but when you’re listening, it will have aired a week ago. And I love this episode because I’m sharing my strategy of how I plan my weeks and how I stick to it. But what we’re doing today is we’re kind of taking what we did in that episode, but we’re kind of zooming out. We’re looking more big picture and the time frame we’re looking at is not just one week, but we’re looking at your entire summer. So it’s like we’re kind of getting the intentional plan for the week is really looking at you’re zooming in. You’re getting nitty gritty about exactly what you’re doing when and having that really intentional plan, but we are zooming out, getting a bird’s eye view to make sure that the big picture is there and that we have our purpose and that we’re not missing anything. So that’s what we’re talking about today. So really excited to dive into that. But first I wanted to just do a quick ask of you if you’re willing, if you’ve been finding any value from this podcast, if you’re finding it helpful, I’d love for you to take just a few moments to leave a review on Apple podcasts. Now we wish you could on Spotify, they don’t allow it, but on Apple podcasts, if you’re able to. So for a limited time, we will send you a $5 code to our website that you can use on anything, like even a ticket to educate and rejuvenate if you don’t have one yet, or applying to your wife’s teacher mommy club membership, your next renewal if you’re already a member. And you can use it really on anything. So all you need to do is leave a review on Apple. You just scroll like go on to Apple podcast, go to Wife Teacher Mommy, the podcast. Scroll to where you can leave a star rating but then keep going. It says writer of you. You’d just give it a little title and write a snippet about what you love about the show and take a screenshot before you hit Submit and email that to Then hit submit. So take a screenshot, hit Submit, then send that screenshot to The reason why I say just take a screenshot before you hit submit is sometimes it takes a day or two for the review to actually show up. And remember, if you’re already a club member, we’ll even apply it to your next renewal. So I would love for you to leave a review now. Here’s what one reviewer had to say. So Cluttered Mom said wife Teacher, Mommy is an absolute game changer in my world. The resources made available to the public are wonderful, but the add ons for subscribers make my teacher life so much easier. Thank you, Cluttered. Mom. And I wish I knew who you were. I wonder if we’ve connected. I just can’t tell by your name. I love connecting with our members. Thank you so much for that. Now I would love to hear from any of you, but now we need to get into the secret for a purposeful. Teacher summer, are you ready? Okay, let’s talk about it. So part of it is looking at our intention. Now, the important thing about finding a purposeful summer is you need to kind of understand what your purpose of your summer is and kind of have some intention with that. Because if we don’t, then there’s no direction. Then it’s just whatever comes is what’s going on. And especially when we don’t have intention or like, a purpose behind what we’re wanting to do over our summer, then other people will fill it up, right? So it’s like, if you’re like, oh, I don’t know what I’m doing, then someone be like, hey, I need this. Hey, I need that. What about you do this? What about you do that? And you’ll just kind of go along with it. And there’s nothing wrong with like, obviously we want to help people. We want to be involved with people, we want to connect with them, but we don’t want to do that at the expense of ourselves, right? We need to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves both in the moment, in the moment during the summer, making sure we’re rested and rejuvenated, but also our future self, because think of future you. So for me, if I’m looking at future Kelsey as a beginning of the next school year, I want to make sure that I’ve taken time to mentally and physically rest, but also mentally prepare myself and strategize and set goals for the upcoming year. So I don’t show up and I’m just like, oh, wait, what am I doing? What’s going on? You want to kind of feel like you’re ready to hit the ground running and excited and have energy. It’s not just like, oh, I’m going back because I have to, but like, oh, I’m going back. And this is what’s going to be even better about this year. I’m really excited to see how it happens because I have this plan, and I know that I can do what I set my mind to. That’s just so much more of a powerful place to come from. So what I want to talk about is kind of the two mistakes that teachers make when they’re planning or not just with their summers, right? So the first is too much busy. So if you’re spending a lot of your summer, especially if it’s like maybe you’re just coming out of your teaching certification, your teaching license, and your degree, whatever you want to call it, and you are excited. You’re planning, you’re prepping, you’re doing all the things to prepare for school, but then maybe by the time school comes, you’re like, oh, man, I’m already exhausted. Right, but you might also fill it with personal projects like, oh, I want to do this yard thing, and oh, I want to do this and I want to do that. The things that you didn’t get time to around the school year or things that you’re like, oh, well, I have three months. I’ve got a full three months of summer, which, when you’re first thinking about you’re like, oh, I’ve got so much time to do all these things. But then you realize that it flies by, right? So if you try to jam pack too many things in there, you’re just going to start the year feeling overwhelmed and stressed. And especially if that busy is like, not things that are setting your mindset, setting your intention for the year so you feel ready for it. You just kind of come in feeling a bit more exhausted. Okay, so a lot of us overachievers, which in general, I’ve a fit teachers and parents into that category, right? We’re lifelong learners. We’re always wanting to help people. We’re wanting to do things for ourselves. We have lots of ideas and things we want to implement, but all of those are good things. But the downside of it is that sometimes we don’t like having open space in our schedules. Like, if we find we have this gap with nothing, we’re like, what can I fill it with? What can I do? I don’t feel productive. If I just take some time to sit here and reflect and plan and ponder or whatever, or even just do nothing, just kind of meditate or be there, even if it’s five minutes, we usually find something to fill it with, right? That is the problem with busy. When we’re just like, I need to go, go be busy all the time. It’s been glorified. We’re like, oh, I’m busy. Like it’s a status symbol or something. If we just have so much going on, maybe it makes us internally feel like, oh, means I’m important. It means I’m doing a lot of good if I’m always busy. But it also means that you’re maybe not taking that time to disconnect, to self reflect, to just be, which is very important. So we’re going to talk about making sure that you don’t have too much busy. But on the flip side, another mistake that a lot of teachers and perhaps like home school parents too, will make is not enough preparation during the summer. Now, don’t get me wrong, we need rest. This is kind of the flip side of what I was just talking about. We need that rest. We need to rejuvenate. We need to take that time. But if you spend your whole summer, like, I’m not going to think about school at all. I’m just going to completely disconnect. I did so much during the year that I deserve this break. Not that you don’t. You totally deserve a break. Like I’m saying, you need rest. But if you spend your whole summer just by the pool reading books, like listening to music, going out with friends, and heck, most of us, we have families or whatever, so it’s not like we’re just doing that. But even if it’s just like with your family doing all personal things and nothing related to either your career or goals or homeschooling or whatever it is that you’re doing, that the summer is giving you a break from. You’re not thinking of your future self. You’re only thinking of your present self. You’re not taking time to set those goals and making sure that you feel ready to go for the next school year. You might be happy right in this moment. You’re kind of in like, ignorance is bliss. I’m not thinking about school. I’m not thinking about any of the things that are going to come up in August, but you’re setting yourself up to start the next year feeling more overwhelmed. Now, the thing I want to talk about is if you feel like, well, I need to completely disconnect because otherwise I’m going to feel so I’m already so burned out from this school year, and what I truly need is to just completely disconnect this year. You need a full three months to do that, to recover. This may be a sign that you were burning yourself out too much during the school year. If you feel like you absolutely have to get rest and rest only and not even think about any school, any of that for three months, it probably means that you were doing too much of it during the school year, that you weren’t finding that balance during the school year. When you run, run, you just don’t stop. And then suddenly you’re forced to stop. It’s almost like the example I shared an extreme is like, I was go, go going in my life, my business, homeschooling, everything, had a baby. And then I hit a wall where I was forced to get help. I was in the Er, had to get all sorts of help with everything. So that’s kind of what might be happening to you over the summer. Like, you’re go, go, go during the school year, and you hit this wall and you’re like, I just can’t do anymore. So you’re forced to rest. But then what this does is then you’re unprepared when the next school year comes around. And it’s kind of like what we talked about with the Sunday scaries before, too. So if your weekend is your only reprieve, you feel tons of dread about coming back. You might not be finding that balance in your life. In the meantime, I am interrupting this.

Kelsey Sorenson [00:11:49]:

Episode for just a moment because I want to remind you about our summer event. Educate and rejuvenate. Here’s what a few of our attendees from last year had to say about it. So Shelby said, you did amazing for your first year. I have teared up, came to realization, and honestly got my fire coming back. You and your team have created an experience that so many teachers have truly needed and wanted. I know I said it so many times, but thank you and thank you, and thank you for working so hard for all of us educators. Why Teacher Mommy is truly a community I always want to be a part of. Keep it up. Holly says thank you for an incredible learning and growing experience with the most professional, intelligent, experienced, generous presenters. I enjoyed every presentation, lesson, talk and effort. This was the best PD I have ever attended. Thank you. And Fifi said thank you for your desire to encourage and rejuvenate teachers. You provided hope, joy, and inspiration for so many. I’m so grateful. Go to to learn more and grab your ticket to join us this year.

Kelsey Sorenson [00:12:48]:

This is actually something to kind of flip how you’re thinking about it. So if you’re like, I need the full three months to recover. Okay, take two weeks to recover. Because if you feel like you need that, you probably do need some time to recover, right? So take like a full two weeks. Don’t think about it. Don’t do anything. But what I would recommend is after that, start to weave in some balance because this is going to be a practice for you. Because if you don’t want next school year to be a repeat of the school year where you just felt overwhelmed all the time and where you were forced to just completely unplug because you overdid it, then we need to reflect and figure out what happened. How can we make it different this year? And you might need to take some time to actually learn some strategies during the summer so you’re ready to implement those strategies when the school year comes around. And that is what we’re here to help you with. Like during Educate and rejuvenate, we’re going to be teaching you lots of these mindset strategies. Or maybe some of that time is even listening to this podcast and figuring out how you can apply it to your life and everything. I’m not saying you need to be spending hours of time working on work because obviously you deserve that summer. Like I said, we’re talking about this balance. But take this as an opportunity to reflect, evaluate, and figure out how the coming school year can look different. How you can’t just feel so burned out that you’re forced to take three months completely off mentally because you just can’t. We don’t want you to hit that point where you just can’t very often. Okay, so that gets us into the solution for your purposeful teacher summer, which is striking the right balance. So first you need to ask yourself, what is that right balance for you? It’s not going to look the exact same for everybody, but what you want to do as you ask this question is think about everything I just talked about. Like, you obviously don’t want to have too much rest, you don’t want to have too much work. So what is that right balance that in between for you and take a moment to just think about that. Then as you’re thinking about it, what helps me is to kind of again, we’re not looking at individual weeks like we did on last week’s episode. We’re looking big picture. We’re like visualizing almost your summer. And I love visualization as a strategy. Picture your summer as this blank canvas and you were like the artist where you get to create what your summer is going to look like. You know what, you could even actually do this. You could create a vision board, which I love vision boards, and you can get pictures of what you want your summer to look like, I want some of this, I want some of that, I want some of this. And then what I usually do is I usually have some words and phrases that remind me of things as well. And I mean, I may do a full episode soon about vision boards, as I truly credit a lot of the way my life has headed in the last few years and coaching and everything to having that vision board and just clarity about what it is, where I’m headed that purpose. And I want you to have that too. But the way you can kind of picture it. So you have this canvas and you’re like, okay, what am I going to include on it? Even if you’re just closing your eyes, visualizing it. What are the categories of blocks of time you’d want to have included in your summer? So like broad categories. What are the pillars that you want in your summer? So let me just name a few examples that you might want to include. So for example, vacation. Are you going on any trips? This is like literally vacations. Traveling, doing things. Is that something you plan to do over your summer? For me, that’s something I do like to incorporate, although sometimes I like to go on the off seasons too, since we have a little bit more flexibility with how I’m working online now. But vacation, are you going to fit that in? Rest. That is another category. That again, we do want to have some rest. So what does rest look like to you? Visualize what that is.

Kelsey Sorenson [00:16:17]:

Is it taking a nap in the middle of the day because you can? Is it going to a spa? Is it just time to unwind and read a book by the pool? Or getting together, getting to lunch with your teacher friends? Does that energize you? Or just friends in general? Family. And that brings me to the next thing, which is family time. What are the family? Not just commitments, but things you want to do over the summer with your family. And that can also include chosen families. So it can be like your friends or important people in your life too. That could be a category for your summer. Another thing would be reflection and goal setting. What is that going to look like during your summer? Another category would be actual teacher prep time. So what prep do you want to do during the school year? Like what lesson plans, what activities? What are some new strategies you want to try? Are there things you want to learn about like the science of reading or do you want to get some summer or do you want to get like beginning of the year review packets put together? We’re putting some together for our club members though, so if you’re in the club, don’t worry about it. You can grab those. But is that something you’re wanting to do over your summer? What teacher prep exactly is that you’re wanting to do? And then home and personal projects. Like I mentioned, you might want to be doing some yard things. You might want to do some home remodeling or painting a room or just redoing some decor and freshening up your space that can make a big difference in your life or even just even if it’s not like changing anything in your house other than the organization. I actually feel like that can be one of the biggest things is how can you clear your mind and clear your space? Like minimalizing? Kind of like what sparks joy, right? Like Marie Kondo says, what are some things you can take and donate to charities? You can make more space and all that. So that’s just another idea. I am going to be talking about.

Kelsey Sorenson [00:17:53]:

How to declutter your mind in space.

Kelsey Sorenson [00:17:54]:

In the club soon on one of our calls. Excited to talk about that. Another category is I mean, I have reflection on there, but just goal setting and new strategies you want to learn. And I guess that kind of ties it put teacher prep time. But I guess that should have included just like the actual prep, like what you need to do, but the education, I guess. What do you want to learn over the summer? Do you want to learn about different mindset, strategies that can help you in the coming school year? Do you want to learn different teaching strategies? Do you want to learn some better classroom management? What is it you want to learn? There’s so much that you could do and you don’t want to do all of it because you don’t want to overwhelm yourself but kind of be like, okay, this education category of my summer, what is it that I want to do with that? So get those categories down, write it all down and then get intentional about it. So how much time are you going to spend on each of those categories that you visualize, that you intentionally purposefully chose? When will each thing happen? Now you can have this as structured or as flowy as you would like. Remember, this is big picture, so you could kind of get out a Google Doc and write it all down and kind of like how much time you want to spend on each or when each one is going to happen. You could get out a paper planner and do this, or you could just have that vision board and have it up so you remember to make sure that you find that balance day in and day out. It is really up to you. This is big picture so there are so many ways you could do this and all year long I still like to plan my weeks using the strategy I shared in last week’s episode about setting an intentional plan and actually sticking to it. But when I zoom out and look at the broad categories this can be helpful for that weekly planning because you can ask yourself what things are important to happen this week. These are the like six or five or four, whatever broad categories you created that you want to make sure are part of your summer. And you can do that as you plan your weeks because I would really recommend you don’t need to wait until the school year to start planning your weeks. Doing it during the summer can be a great way to have the habit built. Like summer is a great time to build some new intentional habits that will help you during the new school year. It’s a great time to do that. And now this brings me to where I can help you if you want to find some more of that balance is coming to educate and rejuvenate. And this also really helps the education category I mentioned where if there are different strategies or different things you want to learn before next school year. We have so many amazing presenters this year speaking on a plethora of amazing topics like basically anything you could want to learn about, you could probably learn about at educate and rejuvenate this year. Plus the rejuvenate part is there because we are doing the mindset coaching, we are having workouts, we are having comedy. It’s just a really big event with all the balance built right into it because it’s not just about strategies and teaching and you need to do this and you need to do that. But it’s like how do I rejuvenate? How do I set goals for the new year? How do I make sure I’m not burned out next year? And let’s laugh. We have two hilarious keynotes, we have Mr. D, Joe Dombrowski and we have Christina Kuzmich and they’re both so funny. So we’re going to all laugh together, we’re going to connect with each other. Building connections can help build us up. You can meet so many amazing people in the community. Facebook part of the event and the event is also a great way for you to recenter with the two live sessions where I’ll be diving into a lot of what we do on the podcast where you’ll get to interact with me and there will be live coaching from both me and Christy Nichols who was on the podcast earlier this month. And here’s the big thing though, when you come to an event and this happens for me every time that I attend an event, whether it’s for my business, whether it’s like teaching related, whatever it is, I just come feeling so invigorated and there’s no way I could ever possibly apply everything I learned at the event. It’s just not possible to suddenly change a million things at once. But it just gives you this fire, this perspective that you feel like you’re on top of the world when you leave an event. This happens to me every single time, every single event I’ve ever attended. And this one is just the same thing. You are going to get that fire lit under you again. You’re going to feel ready to take on the new school year when you join us at Educate and Rejuvenate. I would love to see you there. And don’t forget, if you leave a review on this podcast, we will also send you a $5 credit to our shop that you could put towards your ticket to Educate and Rejuvenate. So simply go to up a podcast, scroll down rate and leave a review. Take that screenshot before you hit submit, then hit Submit. Then email that screenshot to us at and we will send you a $5 credit so you can apply towards your Educate and Rejuvenate tickets or your wife teacher Maui club renewal or anything in our shop that will help you have the most purposeful teacher summer that you would like. Okay, that’s it for today, but I can’t wait to talk to you next week.

Kelsey Sorenson [00:22:38]:

If you enjoyed this podcast, be sure to hit subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. And if you’re ready to take the next step, come grab your ticket to join me at Educate. Amber Juvenate the education event of the year on June 27 and 28th, 2023. This year we have two incredible live keynotes joe Jamrowski aka Mr. D, and bestselling author and video creator Christina Kismich. We have over 60 incredible speakers speaking.

Kelsey Sorenson [00:23:05]:

Reading, social, emotional learning, classroom management, homeschooling and tackling burnout. We start the day with a workout together each morning. We have panels with the presenters and you’ll even get to join live coaching with me and even raise your hand if you would like to be coached. Plus, we give away tons of prizes throughout the event too. It is the best PD you could ever attend.

And all of this is happening from the comfort of your own home. It’s just $19 for a ticket. And past attendees have said that this is what finally lit a fire under them to enjoy teaching again and that it was well worth every penny. Go to to learn more about the 2023 event or if you’re listening to this later, that link will show you what’s up next, as we will continue to do events like this, I hope to see you at Educate and Rejuvenate you.

More about Wife Teacher Mommy: The Podcast

Being an educator is beyond a full-time job. Whether you’re a teacher or a homeschool parent, the everyday to-do list is endless. Between lesson planning, grading, meetings, and actually teaching, it probably feels impossible to show up for your students without dropping the ball in other areas of your life.

Wife Teacher Mommy: The Podcast is the show that will bring you the teacher tips, practical strategies, and inspiration that you need to relieve the stress and overwhelm of your day-to-day. Your host, Kelsey Sorenson, is a former teacher and substitute turned homeschool mom. Tune in weekly to hear Kelsey and her guests cheer you on and help you thrive as a wife, teacher, and mommy. Because with a little support and community, you can do it all. For access to every single Wife Teacher Mommy resource, join the club at

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