The perennial media cries of ‘all’ the school holidays and teachers working daylight hours, not on the weekend and a ‘good’ salary does not shine a light on the work in schools and the school community. School holidays are part of the award that teachers and school leaders are employed under.
The school year seemed to be racing along, yet the last few weeks of term 4 feel like it is slowing, and days seem longer.
Time to prepare for the last day of term:
- Close the laptop lid, switch off the desktop.
- Close the door of your classroom or office.
- Try and find the ‘off-switch’ to thinking about school.
It is important to switch off and begin your summer holidays. All too common is the failure to do so. This is not a professional failure, more a reflection of the commitment and work of teachers. Failing to switch off will cut the holiday break shorter, at both ends.
The necessary ‘wind down’ after the school term usually kicks in during the first week of the holidays; crammed in with travel, festive, religious, and cultural celebrations, and any number of other factors. Barely enough time to begin to wind down.
Switching your mind and body off from school is crucial in finding a healthy work/life balance. The summer break is an easy foil for maladaptive behaviours to become ingrained.
Let’s say that it takes a week to wind down after the school year and that teachers and school leaders start to get the feeling that Term 1 is coming up in the second or third week of January. This means that the summer break could shrink to a little more than 4 weeks!
Practicing self-care can help you find the ‘off button’.
Finding the time to engage in the activities and practices that give you strength will lower the level of stress and contribute to your well-being. Finding ways to care for yourself, to find balance in your life, will preserve your sanity and enrich the time you spend with people.
I am planning to read some new books, catch up with loved ones and take a walk along the beach.
Please find the time to take a breath, a moment to acknowledge the school year that has passed, and some restful, long summer days to recharge and refresh.