Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Do Teachers Need Breaks?

I'll come back to the issue of what I think summer break should be used for, but breaks throughout the school year still strike me as incredibly necessary. Many professions in this country are incredibly exhausting and while I have not worked in many other industries the jobs I have done that are exhausting do not compare to the position I currently hold.

In the spirit of taking a break, this post is short and sweet. Spring break should be used for two things: the first and less important is to prepare for the week or two after spring break and perhaps create a plan for the last few units of the year; the second is to rest up for what will be the final sprint to the end of the year.

It's going to be fast and messy and it's going to make your head spin. After spring break you'll realize how little time you have left to prepare students for exams and cram in the rest of your curriculum and you'll ratchet it up a notch. Students start going crazy and/or checking out entirely and your exhaustion level will peak around the end of May after which you may achieve some level of numbness that will pull you through the end of June where you'll land in a thick cloud of confusion as to what kind of freight train just smashed you to the ground.

I'll address how to pick up the pieces then. As for right now, I'm in Italy doing my damnedest to catch up on sleep and relax. Hopefully I've already planned the lesson for the day I get back so that I won't have to do it while in jet-legged fog the night we get back stateside (which happens to be the night before school begins again).

First Years: If you've made it this far, you'll make it to the end of the year. Do yourself and your students a favor and use spring break for what it's intended to be- a break.

Today's Wine: Whatever bottle I'm drinking on my quest to "sample" at least one nice local vintage each day during break.

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