Spring break is not just for the students! This is a break for the school teachers as well and generally speaking, is a much needed one. Of course, all teachers will have different goals on their breaks, but all teachers should try to practice self-care and wellness in order to come back strong for the end of the school year.
Take a Break
One of the number one rules of spring break is to take a break from work! Do not spend your break catching up on your work. As the years go on and you gain more experience in a career of teaching, you realize it is not about the hours you put in, but the way you use your time. Creating balance is extremely important. It may be impossible to do absolutely no work over the break, but limit it to a certain day and stick to it. It is important for you to decompress and separate from work over the break, and spending too much time will not give your brain the break that it needs.
Sleep in! I am not saying that you need to roll out of bed at noon every day, but do not set your alarm for the normal 5:00 a.m. every morning. Set it for a later time or not at all. We all know as the days and weeks go on, it can get harder and harder to wake up in the morning, as our days are exhausting. Recharge your batteries over the break and snag some extra sleep when you can!
Connect with Non-Teachers
Spend time with your non-teacher friends. If you are anything like me, you spend the majority of your school year with your teacher friends, and your other friends fall by the wayside! Use this time to reconnect with your friends you don’t always have the time or energy to have an adventure with. Take a day trip, go to lunch, or have a game night. Whatever it is, take advantage of your time and catch up with your other buddies.
Emails can Wait
Do not answer e-mails! They will be waiting for you when you get back to work. With technology today, if there are any types of emergencies, an alternate way to get in touch with you will be found. One of the best choices I have recently made was removing my school email from my personal phone. I do not check emails after a certain time, and I just check and respond when I get to work in the morning. You are not a machine, and this is part of creating a balance and boundaries for yourself.
Take a Trip
Take a trip! If you are anything like me, it is hard to separate yourself from work. Plan a little getaway if you can and go explore. Life is all about the experiences you have and the memories you make. Whether it be an island getaway, exploring a foreign country, or simply taking a drive and hiking, spend some time with family or friends in a new place if you can.
Something I love to do on breaks is clean out my closets and organize. I love going through and organizing my closets and drawers and donating any clothes, shoes, etc. that I really do not utilize anymore. It feels nice cleaning with the windows open and listening to all my favorite music. There is not always time to clean and organize the way you want to when school is in session, so taking full advantage of breaks is a great idea!
On your spring break you should simply do what makes you happy, especially those things you do not have time to do when you are working every day. Take your favorite class at the gym at 9 a.m. instead of before or after work. Go to lunch on a Tuesday afternoon. Take your kids to an amusement park. Take your dog for an extra-long hike or walk. Make that dinner you found on Pinterest and have been wanting to try. Whatever it is that makes you happy, do that!
Breaks are important because they help revitalize you. Sometimes when you keep going and going, you tend to not realize how incredibly drained you are. Although schoolwork and your students are obviously important, you need to take care of yourself. Being the best version of you includes being happy not just at work, but in all facets of your life. When you feel rested and recharged, it spills over into your teaching in the classroom.
As Louisa May Alcott stated, “Have regular hours for work and play; useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well.” A well-balanced, well-rounded teacher produces students of the same nature!