Teacher Tuesday: The Break is Over

It’s always hard returning from a vacation, no matter what profession you are in. Setting the alarm clock, commuting, getting little people ready to go in the morning (if you have them), dealing with colleagues, the return of deadlines, the whole shebang. Here are some things that I do as a teacher to help me return to the trenches:

Prep your return beforehand- I was so thankful when I returned yesterday that I had completely prepared for the first few days back. It’s so much easier to start back when you have all your copies made, your lessons planned, and post-its labeling everything (since you’ll inevitably forget).

Try not to take work home- This is easier said than done sometimes, but I find breaks so much more restful when I completely disconnect from work. I work really hard to get my grading and planning done so that none goes home with me. More often than not, when I do take work home on breaks it doesn’t get done, which makes me mad at myself and just sort of dampens the mood of the last day or two.

Plan something fun for the first post-work week weekend- I’m a big fan of weekend plans in general, but having something fun to look forward to when I’m getting back into the daily grind helps.

Caffeinate accordingly- Whatever you drink in the morning, double it. TRIPLE IT.

Commiserate with your students- My high school students don’t need Susie Sunshine on that first day back- they need me to acknowledge that we are all on the I Want to Be Back in Bed Bus together. That’s really something I try to do in general with my students- I admit when I don’t like a poem, agree with them that the week has been achingly long, or that we all have too much to do.

Tread lightly- Let’s be honest, the kids aren’t going to be ready to write an in-class essay after lollygagging about for a week or two. Of course plan something thoughtful, relevant, and engaging, but also know the capabilities of your audience.

Treat yourself after work- Maybe it’s a good podcast, a(nother) cup of coffee, takeout for dinner, trashy TV, whatever. You went back to work. You’ve earned it.

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