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- Teaching With Minecraft EDU - April 3, 2019
- Self-Care Is Priority One for This Teacher - February 13, 2019
- Preparing Students For Teacher Absences - February 12, 2019
- Respect in the Classroom: Earned, Not Expected - February 11, 2019
- Dissing the Family Crazies: A Christmas Story - January 6, 2019
- Band-Aiding The Mental Health of Our Children - November 23, 2018
- We Must Love Them - November 5, 2018
- Take One For the Team: The Need for Self-Care - August 19, 2018
- The New Teacher Smell - August 19, 2018
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It’s summertime! We are all looking forward to at least two months completely free of any schoolwork, planning and anything that has to do with a classroom… Right?
Don’t we wish.
I have always loved how society views teachers. We ‘only actually work’ for 180 or so days, then we sit idle, getting to enjoy the entire summer with no obligations, no alarm clocks, no work.
I started jotting down ideas for next year’s activities in the middle of April. I keep an ongoing list of “Things to Change Next Year If It’s the Last Thing I do” taped to my desk. I made notes in this year’s lesson plans of lessons that were over-the-top amazing and lessons that fizzled before I even got started.
The fact of the matter is teachers NEVER stop working.
In theory the thought of being out of school while my own kids are out of school has always been very appealing, but the reality of it is even though I am physically ‘out’ of my classroom, I am very much mentally still there. I’ll walk into a store to get groceries for home and end up hitting the clearance aisle finding goodies for the student store. I go to the local craft store getting items for our home remodel and end up with decorations for next year’s classroom.
And don’t even get me started on the workshops, seminars and conferences where I spend hours trying to better myself as an educator.
Or the part-time job I have tutoring.
So how do we shut down and be present with our families? How do we sit down, relax and try to take advantage of our ‘summer vacation’ not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well? How do we regroup so we are ‘fresh’ for our new crop of kiddos coming into our care in August?
Shutting down has always been a challenge for me. I try to be organized, but it seems like the more organized I am the more I end up spinning my wheels as August approaches. Planning too far ahead leaves me way too much time to change everything up as I get closer to the beginning of a new school year.
But over the years I have consistently done three things that seem to work well.
1. All of those little lists I keep throughout the year get compiled into one big list. Then I LEAVE IT ON MY DESK TO LOOK AT LATER. I can’t accomplish anything with a worn down body, mind and spirit. By the time May rolls around I have planned, assessed, copied, gamed and played until I am drained. All of those ideas and reminders I have made to myself throughout the year cannot be processed properly if I am in the wrong frame of mind so I compile them from all of my sticky notes and scrap paper, then leave them until I am refreshed.
2. I am a huge planner. I plan my planning. Therefore it only makes sense to plan my time off. Since I own my school, there is really no true time off as I get phone calls throughout the summer from prospective parents, I have tons of paperwork to do and one year flows into the next. But around the middle of June, I force myself to take off completely. I let phone calls go to voicemail, I only respond to emails that are pressing and I allow myself about three weeks to do nothing school-related. I have to rebuild my mind and refuel myself physically and emotionally so I can readily pour myself into my students come August.
3. I maintain my hobbies throughout the year, but I keep a ‘summer list’ of larger projects I would like to complete. Whether it’s a good summer read, a sewing project or a home remodel it feels good to start and finish a project of my own. My hobbies help refresh me and give me a sense of accomplishment outside of my classroom.
How do you ‘shut down’ from your school year?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]