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TGI-SB! (Thank Goodness It’s Spring Break)

March 12, 2011

Yesterday, a colleague greeted me with her usual exuberance, zest for life, and all-around happiness and a new, but  very appropriate phrase – “TGI-SB!

Yeah, sista, we made it to Spring Break!

So with withering classes due to early departures and lingering viruses, my colleagues and I chuckled.  We embarked on our final day with our children to bring closure to this phase of  our work.  Like many, many teachers and administrators in many, many schools, we’ve had a stressful year.  Much of it has been good stress – intensive and engaging curriculum, children and families who value (our kind of) education, and a deep passion for our work.  And there’s the other kind of stress, too – burning the candle at both ends to meet all demands, uncertainty about the economy or a job for next year, allocating our resources to care for the many other responsibilities in our lives. Teaching is simultaneously stressful and invigorating, an odd dichotomy that requires downtime.  It’s a yin-yang  that keeps many of us coming back year after year.

The teachers I work with are a remarkable group of people.  They are some of the most dedicated and skilled teachers I’ve met, but they are also compassionate, thoughtful and authentic people. We know each other well,  and we really like each other.  They have an uncanny ability to support and care for each other, but also to push each to be better teachers and human beings.  The comment “TGI-SB” was an affirmation that our hard work over the past three months (since our last respite) has paid off and it’s time to recalibrate.

For my colleagues and all teachers who will enjoy some downtime this week, or whenever your spring break is, I encourage you to really disconnect and recharge and enjoy your life outside school walls.  Leave the papers, the curriculum or resources to read, and the emails.  If you can’t completely cut yourself off, read my blog  A Well-Balanced Read.  Teacher, author and consult Mike Anderson’s book The Well-Balanced Teacher:   How to Stay Sane Inside  the Classroom and Out succinctly outlines why it’s important for us to stay balanced and offers some steps you can take today to bring more balance and peace to your personal and professional life.  This 100-page read is worth a couple of hours of reading and reflection!

TGI-SB to all of you – or at least enjoy this glorious spring weekend!

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