How Teachers Can Stay Afloat As Summer Sinks By

July 4th marks the half-way point for many teachers across the U.S. In just a little over a month, most of us will be heading back to our classrooms. Yes, we have lost track of what day it is, and haven't had to set an alarm for weeks, but that six letter word that starts with an "S" is rapidly approaching.

We have come up with a list of our top 10 things teachers should do before another summer passes us by.

1. Binge watch your favorite shows! We have been watching Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and many others. Netflix probably wants to charge us more (even though they just raised the price again!)

2. Get to a pool. We don't care if it is a small kiddie pool that you can buy at Wal-Mart, or if you have a friend who has an above ground or in ground pool, water has a great calming effect. If you have a public pool nearby that works too, but be warned that you will probably see students you know there!

3. Take a vacation. Now, we know living off of a teacher's salary can be tough so don't think you have to go to Hawaii for a week. A vacation can be a short drive away or even in your backyard. You could go to a place that has great scenery, camp out with your family in your backyard, or just declare the next Saturday and Sunday "The Weekend of Fun" and each person in your family gets to decide on one fun thing they want to do. Vacations are necessary and a great way to create memories.

4. Don't set your alarm until you have to! We know that your kids may have classes/events during the summer, but if at all possible, get that much needed sleep that you will be praying for once school starts. Sleep is an amazing thing. It recharges your batteries, and clears your mind. Turn off that cell-phone or bedside alarm and catch more z's.

5. Get together with friends and/or colleagues. Summer is a great time to schedule some fun events with your closest friends. Just think of how many times during the school year you have thought about doing this. Now is the time to act and do something fun!

6. Keep up on the latest trends in education and any new curriculum adoptions that your district may have done. It is OK to do some teaching-related things over the summer. It may help reduce the stress when you return, if you are behind on new things that you have to do this school year.

7. Another thing you now have more time for is exercise. Take walks or do bike rides with your family, do those workout DVD's that have been collecting dust. Garden, or do yardwork. Exercise is just as good for the mind as it is for the body.

8. Complete projects around the home. Summer is the perfect time to cross off your "to-do" list. It can be small projects or even big remodel ones. But take advantage of the time now before it's too late.

9. Read. Now, we didn't say what to read. That is up to you. One of our preferred magazines is still Sports Illustrated, but now we actually have time to read novels that we may use with our students. We also have time to read adult novels too. Reading is a relaxing way to spend a rainy summer day.

10. Smile. You have worked your tail off during the school year. Summer is the time to get your smile back. Smile every day. Smile at your family. Heck, smile and say "Hi" to complete strangers. It makes you feel so much better!

We hope you will do some of these tips with the remainder of the summer. We would love to hear what you think teachers should do before summer is gone. Please add your comments!

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