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What Do You Do With Your Teacher Time Off?

When summer rolls around or term break, I am always ready for a break. How about you?

The key to useful teacher time off is to actually take time off. We all need time to recharge. Put away your lesson plans and take a real break.

The question is how you will spend your break. Hopefully, you’ll do something that you enjoy, something that helps you come back energized and refreshed.

What are you going to do with your teacher time off?

Do you have dreams of sleeping in? Taking a little trip? Reading—for pleasure?

Do you envision chilling out with some mindless TV or taking in the latest movie? Or maybe you want to disconnect completely for a while (how long can you last without your phone?)

Maybe you’re crafty or like cooking or gardening. Or want to get to that yoga class you haven’t been to in too long or hit the gym.

Maybe you have friends you haven’t seen in awhile or want to spend time with your kids.

And less fun, perhaps there are household projects you’ve been meaning to get to and would give you satisfaction to have off your to-do list.

All of these (even that last one ) are good choices for teacher time off. In fact, a mix of these sounds like a pretty amazing break.

I like to fit in some good “doing” and some good downtime. My ideal break would include spending time with my family (usually camping or going on day trips), playing guitar and catching up on those little jobs around the house that pile up during the term.

The key to useful teacher time off is to actually take time off. Being “on” all the time doesn’t make you an exceptional teacher. In fact, it’s more likely to lead to burnout. And yet how many of us find ourselves collecting materials or creating new lessons during the break. Sometimes it may even look low key—I’m just pinning ideas on Pinterest—but we’re not letting ourselves really turn off.

It’s time to take a real break. We all need time to recharge. You know this intuitively. You may even say that you need a break. So do something about it.

Put away your lesson plans. Forget about how you will rearrange the room or the games you want to create.

Don’t spend your break fretting over something that went wrong at end of term or let planning for next year consume your whole summer.

Sometimes taking a break can feel stressful. You think that if you could just be prepared, next term would go so much more smoothly. So do this: Set aside a few days of your break to focus on school. You may want to get it out of the way at the beginning of break, or you may prefer to relax and then use a few days to get ready at the end of your break. Either way, block out the time you will spend and then give yourself the gift of the rest of the break as time off.

You work hard, you deserve teacher time off. You need teacher time off. Take it—you’ll come back a better teacher for it.

Are you a new teacher who feels you can’t take time off because you need to get up to speed or figure it all out? The Thrive New Teacher Support Program is for you! And once you join, you’re in for a full year, so you can take some time off AND connect with people and materials that will help you feel confident and supported in the classroom!

Take one action step now and join the New Teacher Support Program. Then relax and enjoy your break!

The key to useful teacher time off is to actually take time off. We all need time to recharge. Put away your lesson plans and take a real break.

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