Mental Health & Well-being, Summer

5 Summer Essentials for Teachers

5 Summer Essentials for Teachers

Originally published in TEACH Magazine, July/August 2023 Issue

You can almost hear it. Teachers everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief as they kick up their feet and bask in the freedom of summer break. After an undoubtedly busy year, it’s finally time to focus on yourself. Whether you’re seeking inspiration for activities or looking for interesting new solutions to daily life, we’ve got some ideas for you.

1. Road Trip Apps

There’s nothing like cruising down the open road and feeling the wind in your hair. But even the most laid-back road trips need some planning, so if you’re going on a long drive this summer, here are some apps you might want to keep handy.

To help get the most out of your trip, Roadtrippers finds the best places to stop along your route, including unique attractions, scenic points, eateries, and more. Avoid running out of gas in the middle of nowhere with Gasbuddy, which shows the cheapest gas stations near you. AllTrails highlights nearby trailheads where you can hop out and stretch your legs, and if you need to find the nearest washroom, there’s always the aptly named Flush.

2. Self-Care Podcasts

As much as you love nurturing young minds, the demands of the classroom undoubtedly take their toll. Teachers, too, need support and as you make time for yourself during the break, there are podcasts dedicated to teacher self-care that are worth a listen.

Hosted by two Canadian teachers, The Balanced Educator empowers teachers to feel more calm, balanced, and joyful. There’s also Well at Work, a conversation with Canadian K–12 educators about workplace mental health and well-being. When it comes to teacher burnout, The Burned-In Teacher Podcast is a great resource. Looking for something more uplifting? Check out The Transformed Teacher, a podcast by educator Meredith Newlin that is designed to help transform the overwhelmed to overjoyed.


3. Sustainable Cleaning Products

Between your long school days, extracurricular activities, and after-school grading, it can be hard to keep your home tidy. Summer break can be a good opportunity to give your space a little freshening up. Like the idea of going sustainable? Here are some local eco-friendly brands you can try.

Tru Earth Eco-Strips are a powerful zero-waste option, and if you purchase them from the website of environmental initiative One Piece A Day, all proceeds go towards supporting their work to keep our planet clean. From Elva’s All Naturals comes 1 Cleaner, a plant-based multi-surface formula that does it all. You can also check out Pure for a whole line of naturally sourced, toxin-free products created to tackle the toughest of stains (available for bulk refill). Other noteworthy brands include Nellie’s, Attitude, Saje, and Eco Max.

4. Cooking Classes

Have you been thinking about trying out a new cuisine, or discovering different ways to shake up the same old meals? Then perhaps you’ll be interested in some fun cooking classes this summer.

Cozymeal lets you take your pick of chefs offering cooking classes from around the globe, with options for in-person, online, or private experiences. For easy weeknight meals, Craftsy offers hundreds of classes for home cooks looking to elevate their skills. Vegan enthusiasts can head over to Veecoco, and free cooking classes are available on Homemade.

5. Chalk

The humble piece of chalk has remained unchanged for years in many North American classrooms, but recently there’s been buzz about Hagoromo—touted as the “Rolls-Royce of chalk.” This Japanese-made product writes as smooth as butter and is practically dustless. It’s also vibrant, nearly unbreakable, and rubs off like a charm. If you’re looking to stock up on some classroom supplies this summer, give Hagoromo a try for when school is back in session.