On Day 27 of the 30-Day Blogging Challenge, I am asked to reflect on the role weekends and holidays play in my teaching.
Weekends and holidays bring much-needed rest after the intensity of teaching middle school students. I mostly use this time to rejuvenate, reflect, catch up and plan for the coming weeks. I once worked with a teacher who said her weekends were sacred and she would not do any school work, devoting her time to family instead. I can understand this, and it did work for her, but it is rare that I could go through a weekend or vacation without doing some type of school work. I enjoy making long-range plans at these times so that I have time to think without being stressed out by immediate deadlines. I feel refreshed and prepared after spending time like this.
I often hear comments about teachers having summers off. Although I am usually not teaching in the summer, I do not take this time off. I am either studying in formal classes, workshops such as edcamps, or on my own. I am also thinking about the changes I want to make in the coming school year and beginning to write plans. I read reflection letters my new students send me in June of the previous year, and I respond to each student. I work on my website and make improvements. I connect with other teachers and learn what they are reading and how they are preparing for the coming year. I pay attention to current events, particularly those that have a great effect on my students’ lives, and research lessons that I may need to introduce to my students. I travel, take photos, keep a blog and collect resources to use in the classroom. I research grant opportunities and begin writing grants for materials I hope to acquire.
I do find time for myself and my family, time to do things that are completely unrelated to school, but my school life is never far away.