Are you one of those teachers who somehow finds themselves doing work during every 'free' minute of your life? This blog post will help you figure out how to not let your work dominate your break from school this winter.
Putting the Brakes on Winter Break Work
It's no secret that teachers are overworked. In the teaching profession, there's always so much to get done that those tasks end up taking over your evenings, weekends, and even holidays. In fact, most teachers must make a concerted effort to stop working. But it's absolutely worth it to do so for many reasons, including preventing teacher burnout and taking care of yourself. Here's how you can make sure that your teaching job doesn't take over your winter break this year.
Differentiate Between Work Needs and Wants
One reason why you might end up working too much over the winter break is the mistaken idea that you have so much to do and not enough time in which to do it. But what you'll find if you take the time to make a list of the things you actually need to get done over the break (not could or should get done), is that that you have less to do than you think. And, most likely, those things are totally doable over the course of just a few half days of work here and there. To avoid feeling like you have teacher work hanging over you every single day, make sure you approach your winter break with a detailed to-do list that'll give you the confidence not to think about work on a daily basis.
Set Limits for Yourself
Even if you need to work over the winter break, set boundaries for those times when you're not willing to work. You can either go the route of deciding which days and times will be off-limits for working, like the actual holidays, the days before and after those holidays, evenings, and early mornings. Or, you can take an opposite approach, where you allow yourself to work only during specific, scheduled ''teacher shifts.'' Use your to-do list to decide exactly how much time you need to set aside for working, and designate the rest of your off-limits time to celebrate the holidays and unwind.
Make Other Plans
If you find your mind wandering to the topic of work whenever you have too much free time on your hands, you're not alone. The best way to combat this situation is to make sure that you have other activities planned for keeping yourself busy (doing things you enjoy!), instead of letting work take over your mind. There are so many things other than teacher work that you could be doing over the winter break, including:
- Baking artisanal cookies
- Building a gingerbread house
- Catching up on your reading
- Enjoying hot herbal drinks
- Engaging in winter sports
- Shopping for unique holiday gifts
- Spending time with friends and loved ones
- Taking a short trip
- Knitting an accessory to wear when you return to school
Your list of possibilities can go on and on. The point is that the more you fill your time with fun, relaxing activities that do not include working on teacher tasks, the less tempted you'll be to allow your job to take over your winter break.
Now get out there and enjoy some eggnog or latkes for us.
For an online resource that can help save you time in (and out of!) the classroom, check out Study.com's Teacher Edition.