Society for the Teaching of Psychology: Division 2 of the American Psychological Association

Making the Most of Summer

27 Jun 2023 1:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

June marked the start of summer break (for many of us!). Whether you wrapped up your semester a few weeks ago or you’re looking ahead to summer after completing a quarter, summer offers a time for us to rest, relax, and reflect after a long academic year. Here, we will offer some ideas on how to make the most of your summer to prepare for fall. 

·         Relax and Recharge! We all have different commitments during the summer. Some are teaching summer courses and diving into research projects while others have no academic time commitments or are somewhere in between. Regardless of what your summer looks like, it’s important to take time to rest. Taking time to relax improves our overall well-being and our productivity. Whether your version of relaxing is sleeping in, working on hobbies, or spending more time with friends and family, taking the time to rest and have fun can help us return to campus ready to tackle the next term without burning out. 

·         Summer Reading. One of my favorite parts of summer is being able to read a good book in the sunshine. If you, like me, find joy in reading by the pool, but want to learn more about teaching, consider combining the two! There are countless teaching books on many topics you may be interested in. If you want recommendations, the STP Facebook page can be a good resource to ask the hivemind! The first teaching book on my list is Inclusive Teaching by Kelly Hogan and Viji Sathy.

If you prefer online resources, STP has a variety of e-books on scholarship of teaching and learning, various teaching techniques, and theories of teaching. There are even books written specifically for early career instructors. The E-xcellence in Teaching Blog also offers quick reads on many topics.   

·         Reflecting on Course Design. Now that the end of the prior term has passed, you may have more space to reflect on the courses you’ve taught. Taking the time to reflect on your teaching and your prior classes can set you up for a successful fall. If you’ve taught before, these reflections may include revisiting student evaluations to find common themes and may also involve considering what you think went well or what could be improved. If you haven’t taught before, you may reflect on your goals as an instructor and what you want students in your future class take away from your course. 

·         Consider Your Own Career Goals. Summer may provide space for you to consider longer-term career goals. You may take this time to create an Individualized Development Plan (IDP) or reflect on your progress toward career goals. If you are stuck, consider applying for the STP mentorship program toward the end of the summer, where Early Career members can be matched with a mentor to help them develop and achieve career goals. 

Making the most of summer will mean different things to different people. For some, it will mean taking a large step back from teaching responsibilities to focus on other aspects of our lives. For others, it may mean using our work time to revamp a course or to focus on other aspects of our jobs. We hope the above give you points to consider and that you use summer to recharge and prepare in whatever ways make the most sense for you!

Your STP Early Career Psychologists Committee:

Dina Gohar, Ph.D.

Courtney Gosnell, Ph.D.

Ciara Kidder, Ph.D.

Vishal Thakkar, Ph.D.

Amanda Woodward, Ph.D.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software