Yes. It is here. Welcome soft, lovely, cozy two weeks (almost–we had to make up 2 snow days). Oh how we have missed you! In late February and early March we call your name and count the days. Time seems to pass like molasses in January, but faithfully you always show up. Someone mentions grades being due next week, and almost instantly, there are buds on the trees and freedom is in the air!! WHOOP WHOOP!!
Happy Spring Break BABY!!!! Here’s to late nights with How I Met Your Mother reruns and then sleeping until WHENEVER YOU WANT!!
Can you tell I am excited? Yes, I love Spring Break. It signals the beginning of warm weather…well, most of the time. It also cues me to spend some time partaking in a couple of my Spring Break teaching rituals so I thought I would share them with you.
Three Productive Tasks that WON’T Kill your Spring Break Vibe
I know. I know. Everybody tries to do this at the end of the school year. But if you try to sort through & donate, toss, recycle and/or burn that stuff now, you will not be sweating in your classroom with the beautiful June sunshine peeking through the window at you. When the professional development day (the last teacher day) is over you can plow to your car like Grant through Richmond!!
Now I realize, that some teachers only have a week and it is REALLY tough to drag your cookies into school for one day of the only 5 you have off but if you do this every Spring Break it will take you less than a half a day to complete, and if you sucker your kid or your BFF into helping you, it may only be a couple hours!
This is also an excellent way to send home older classroom books/magazines/textbooks with students who don’t have access to print at home. By this time in the year, I know my students well enough that I can look at books I need to pass on and know which kids would love to take them home. When we return from Spring Break, I have a special table filled with special “take home” things. If the items are scarce or very popular, we have a lottery or drawing after earning “tickets” for participation or behavior. Sometimes, the kiddos I think would never take a textbook home are the first ones to ask about them! I love those surprises.
This is also a great idea if your level students know the next year’s incoming students well. You can have your current students pick books/magazines/textbooks to give to your future students. They can write why they think this text would benefit those coming into their present grade. It can be a great community builder or end of the year activity!
2. Read! No, really.
I HIGHLY suggest you read something TOTALLY for pleasure that has nothing to do with teaching. However, I also recommend you read something about the area of education you are in, or want to be in, or find interesting, or a subject that you are grappling with.
I don’t mean go to Amazon and pick out the thickest, most boring looking scholarly books on “Somebody’s Theory about Something.” I mean, ask some fellow teachers if they have read anything interesting. Go to some of the teacher sites you love and read their blog posts from the past couple months. Do a Google search on a topic that you want to know more about. This is NOT meant to be heavy reading that takes going over 3 times to properly know what in the Sam HILL they are droning on and on about. It is simple, light reading that gives you ideas, makes you creative and motivates you to do something beneficial for you and your students.
3. Day Dream:
Huh? Yes. Daydream. Einstein believed that people are their most creative while daydreaming or letting their minds wander. Get comfortable in your cozy place with your favorite liquid beverage, close your eyes and think about your students and your classroom. Is there something you have been pondering over? Have you seen a lesson taught you would love to try? How have your students changed from the beginning of the school year? It is amazing how many great ideas start with one curious thought. Teachers are notoriously creative because usually they have very few resources and a helluva lot (is that the correct spelling? 😉 of expectations projected upon them!!! So take a few minutes over the break and think outside the box for awhile. I promise you will be amazed at the great ideas you come up with while listening to the birds chirp or people watching.
Do you have Spring Break Customs you follow and want to share?? I would love to hear your suggestions!! I am constantly on the hunt for amazing ideas, or “teacher hacks!” So share, share, share!!!
Oh, and whether it was last week, or is this week, or in the coming weeks:
HAVE AN AMAZING SPRING BREAK and do something amazing just for YOU!