Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Break Vacation??

Today is day two of Spring Break. We just wrapped up the quarter, and had parent teacher conferences. All my papers are graded (ok, we'll there are three kids that sent in late work that are on my desk back at school, but that doesn't count!) I have made my Essential Question projects, had them peer reviewed by my favorite German teacher, and even made the copies for Monday. For my PLN I have answered a bunch of emails. So, now I am planning on cleaning my house, hanging out with my kids, making lesson plans for levels 1 and 4, catch up on blog reading, write a blog post, answer more email, look for resources on the Internet.......

Hold on, isn't Spring Break supposed to be a vacation? A time for teachers to recharge so they can go back to school refreshed and ready to finish the school year? I read an article recently about work life balance, and after a long chat with my very supportive hubby, my post for today was inspired.

Let me start with a story.....
Once there was a man who worked in the IT industry. He worked all the time. He worked 10-12 hours at work, the would come home, go to an event for his kids, kiss his wife and then work some more. Is wife was constantly asking him to stop, to slow down.....

Now another....
Once there was a teacher, a teacher who worked hard to do the best possible job for her students. She went to sporting events at her school to build relationships with her students, she volunteered to chaperone dances, she revised curriculum. Then she began speaking at conferences, writing a blog. She also encouraged students to email her with questions, so she was constantly checking email and responding to her students.

These stories are about myself and my husband. I hadn't realized it, but I am just as bad at work-life balance as he is. I am addicted to my job. It snuck up on me. Who would have thought when I began teaching that those high schoolers would have such a place in my heart that I would find it near impossible to take a day off? Hard to believe that I am so committed to constant improvement that I am always working. I take consolation in the knowledge that I am not the only one. How many teachers do you know that take a day off just to grade and/or plan?

We all need time to recharge before the home stretch of the school year. These last 7 weeks go by so fast that there is hardly a chance to breathe. Recharging makes us better teachers. It helps us be able to distance ourselves from the pressure and drama of school. Then, we can better reflect on our work and our students. That is why, this Spring Break, I am putting away the blog, Twitter, emails, etc. and relaxing with my family. No more thinking about school until Sunday. I am looking forward to it and I hope you join me in the Spring Recharge!