How teachers spend their summer

Rejuvenate- rejuvenate- rejuvenate!
Teachers give 100% during the school year and need downtime, time to rejuvenate, refresh and get past the school year to get ready for a new one. New children, new challenges, a new year all deserve a teacher at their very best. The only way to be ready for a new challenge is to take a break, take time to relax, and not feel totally responsible - for just a little while. You see, that responsibility weighs heavy on every teacher and is the very reason they got into teaching – to change the world one child at a time, but it’s hard work.
Even if you are working during the summer, it’s different and not nearly as stressful as the 180 - day packed calendar most of us enjoy. Take a break and get your life in perspective. If you are a mom, do all the things you can’t do during the school year – fix your child’s breakfast, take them swimming and yes, get in the water with them. Whatever you do - slow down and give up multi-tasking.
Multitasking for teachers is the norm, but you and your children deserve some undivided attention. One of my accomplishments used to be getting so much done in one day – even going so far to mark through the “to do” list with a flourish. Now I am working hard to feel better about doing less and enjoying everything more. I’m still productive, I’m still feeling rewarded, but I stay “in the moment” a bit longer. When school is in session, I always have something hanging over me to get done, one last attempt to help a child and make sure our class has everything they need. The break comes in not feeling totally responsible.
When the school year ends, I send my children on to someone else. I feel a sense of accomplishment and loss, but always relief. It’s hard to explain unless you are a teacher. Remember how you feel after a field trip when at the end of the day, everyone is back safe, and you are exhausted. That’s how you feel at the end of a school year, exhausted, rewarded and needing a break.
Everyone needs one and you deserve it for giving 100%. It is exactly how we should feel for doing what we should do – giving our all for children. So how do you spend your time? Some read trashy novels just for a couple of weeks, but I always feel guilty doing that for long. I must spend some time purging my files and making new games and activities, but two weeks of not thinking about my children is enough. Then I don’t feel bad making a game or even sending a note to a student asking about their summer. Pretty soon, it’s time to get those butterflies in our bellies again as we contemplate and meet our new students, so take a well-deserved rest.
Let me know how you spend your summer vacation.

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