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Summer Renewal


“Roses. Marie Krøyer seated in the deckchair in the garden by Mrs Bendsen’s house” by Peder Severin Krøyer c. 1893.

It is May, and soon the school year will be over. The calendar for the remaining days or weeks is packed with activities, events, and celebrations. After preparations of all sorts, we shall culminate the school year by resting in the goods we have sought and worked for all year.  

Then what? Summer begins, and we may feel a need to just do nothing! For a time, just being free to rest when tired and without any tasks or deadlines sounds like a slice of heaven. The golden days of summer are potentially a treasure, and with a little foresight, we can open up that treasure in a leisurely and delightful way that renews our own souls. Renewing one’s soul is good for its own sake. But God puts his own bonus material in the divine economy, and the educator’s renewal brings forth greater fruit in the following school year.

Renew the body with time in God’s creation. Commit to starting your own nature journal. Collaborate with the Lord in a garden or landscape. Build something, restore something, and restore yourself in the process. Enjoy good music, good food, and good friends. Rejoice in the love that is manifested there.  

Renew the mind by diving into a Great Book or a good book. Which one? Ask a friend to read with you (you can meet over the summer to discuss), and choose one together — just one is just fine! A faculty book study over the summer is ideal.  Consider choosing a work that is not about teaching, that is, one without techniques, strategies, or planning ideas. Instead, a work of fiction will feed your souls in a different way. Later, you will be surprised when you see wisdom from that work spilling into your classroom to bless your students. 

Renew the soul with prayer. If summer means an easier schedule, it’s the perfect opportunity to practice mental prayer. To get started, watch the webinar below from ICLE Faculty David Gockowski: “Christ the Teacher: The Renewal of Mind & Heart through Imaginative Prayer.”

Grow closer to the Lord, and be strengthened in Him.