Sunday, September 11, 2016

Using My Time Off Wisely

When people say, "It must be nice to have all those days off," I used to get angry.

"Do you have ANY idea what we DO on our days off?" That was a popular response that fell on deaf ears.  No one cares to hear all of that.  Most people just want all those days off.  Most people also realize that what comes with the days off are days on.  Days completely on.  Never stopping to take a breath.  Those days off are not just to be nice to us.  They are to keep us from losing what brain power we have left.

The days we have off or out of the classroom are absolutely necessary for our sanity.  There are times when I think there's no way I can go back or stay another minute. But then it happens!  We have a day off or it's the weekend. Regrouping and refreshing are the most important things to keep us going.  I can honestly say that after a little bit of time away, I'm ready to go back and give it my all again.

When the end of the year arrives, we are all ready to have the time to decompress and enjoy time to ourselves.  Last year I honestly believed I would never be ready to go back after the stress of the previous school year.  But after some time off, I started getting excited about my new class and the new school year.  After twenty-three years, I still get that same night before Christmas feeling at back to school time!  I can't wait to get back in there and try new things with my new group.  

The moment I realized that I NEEDED to get back in the classroom was after reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.  I'll do a separate blog about the books that have changed my life but this one touched me so much that I knew I was meant to be in the classroom this year.  The book is written by a girl who grew up with very eccentric parents who never stayed in one place very long.  They refused to conform to society and they never had money.  The girl was like so many of the students that drift in and out of our lives every year.  We sometimes don't give them the attention they deserve because we know they won't be here very long.  We also tend to believe they aren't as advanced as the other students because they haven't gone to one school for very long.  We don't think they can keep up with the other students.

The story Jeannette Walls tells grabbed my heart and wouldn't let go.  She was extremely intelligent but didn't have the parents to help her when she needed them.  Her parents were very smart as well. They just had different priorities. The part that really hit me was her teachers didn't see her potential either.  It made me stop and take notice of my own career.  I need to remember that I don't always know everything and I need to give every student what they deserve.  I started reflecting on past years and hoped I hadn't let any student down too much.  I always feel like I treat students fairly, but now I hope I remember to look deeper inside and realize that there's so much more I don't know.  I hope each child leaves me thinking they are better for being with me.

Now I'm back in the classroom and it's going great. I feel more positive this year than I ever have! Do I still look forward to days off?  ABSOLUTELY.


  1. Nurse problem too. "You have four days a week off?? Must be nice!" Yes, we NEED those days to recover physically, mentally, and emotionally.

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  3. I'll try again. I guess I shouldn't type while tired. I hear you. I could go on and on, but now is not the time. So I'll just say that way deep down I hear you.