As the snow melts away, the days get a bit longer, and the students get a bit more restless, everyone is asking the wrong question: “What are you going to do over spring break?”
Ask that question and you may get itineraries of planned trips, plans for early spring chores, or long lists of kids’ spring sports schedules. However, the question to be asking teachers as they approach this time of year is this: “What will you NOT be doing over spring break?” Sometimes these are the things that provide the much-needed break we need.
So here are a few I things I won’t be doing this spring break. I would love to hear yours.
1. I will not be annotating the books I am reading.
I am going to rip into some recommendations I have piled up and consume them raw. I am not going to read anything from the curriculum. There will be no processing or analysis. There will just be reading—in my favorite chair. Perhaps my dog will join me.
2. I’m not going to drink coffee out of a paper cup, or in my car.
I am going to drink it out of my favorite ceramic mug while staring out the window. I will not hesitate to top it off and keep staring.
3. I am not going to eat a granola bar for breakfast.
I’m serious—not even the gourmet version I sometimes treat myself to if I have a few extra minutes in the morning, which is slathered with peanut butter and honey. Nope. I am not going to let the eggs and bacon have their breakfast destiny go unfulfilled.
I am going to make a breakfast that requires multiple frying pans, and bowls, and utensils, and time. Lots of time. I might not eat a granola bar all week.
4. I am not going to eat my lunch in only 20 minutes.
I’m not going to pack it the night before. I might not even prepare it myself, deciding instead to…go out to eat!
5. I am not going to hold it when I have to pee.
When mother nature calls, I am going to be free to take care of business at that very moment. There will be no waiting for a bell, or a prep period. I will go when I please and then relish in the glory of decent toilet paper.
6. I am not going to assign any work for my students to do.
I am very excited for the blank slate of nothingness that will be my own spring break, and I think my students should be excited, too. These are teenagers in a world that has them so overscheduled they can barely breathe. They are kids, and if I teach them anything this year I want it to be that there is more to life than your GPA.
I want them to find a few hours in the day and have to wonder what they will do with them. I want them to wonder.
7. I am not going to stop the next episode of the show I am binge watching on Netflix.
I am not going to stop that show because it is 9:45 pm. No sir, I am going to watch another episode and I am not going to feel stressed about what time my alarm is going to go off.
8. I am not going to set an alarm.
Not for the entire week!
9. I am not going to tell my own kids to hold on a second.
All the teachers who are parents know what I’m talking about. We tell our kids to pause while we attend to the needs of someone else’s kid. I am not going to grade papers while helping with their homework, or send a message out while playing wiffle ball.
10. I am not going to miss work.
Look, I love teaching. I love it as much as I did when I started, but it is a taxing profession. I teach lots of kids and they each have lots of needs that have to be met. I am going to make sure grades are squared away before I leave, talk to any kids I have to talk to, and then forget about this place for a week.