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The Juxtaposition of Summer Break

Planning Your Day in the Sun

 

The summer break is probably the cruelest juxtaposition a teacher faces in her career. I mean, it is all good that we get an entire two months vacation right smack during the best time of the calendar year. I mean, yes the summer break, or some time off is definitely needed in this profession; by June we are all exhausted and in need of some R & R. But I am not talking about the meta-idea of the summer break. I am talking about the nuts and bolts of it. The “midway through summer break” summer break. That can be, at times, very excruciating.

 

Let me explain, so we are in the last week of July, you have been on break for about a month. Great. All fine and dandy. Maybe you haven’t gone away yet, saving those plans for later; perhaps right before the school year starts again. But then you start to think about all the time that you have left. Selfishly, each day that goes on, especially once August hits, becomes another day closer to the start of school and the grind continuing all over again. So what do you do to make sure you fully enjoy your entire summer vacation?

 

Well, I would assume that most teachers are type A personalities. That eagerness to get something completed is constantly on our minds. The time sensitiveness trait for me has me on the verge of an anxiety attack. I need to make sure I get the most out of my “free time”. Waking up at whatever time I please and rolling through a day with my main priority being “to relax” is just going to get me more strung up. I’ve tried this during my first couple of summer breaks and I just couldn’t help but feel that I had wasted my two months. Besides a vacation here or there and some memorable moments with family and friends, I always had this cloud weighing over my head that would never quite burst. But once the first weeks of school started it was too late to contemplate. It was back to work.

 

So this year I made a new plan. And my plan, well actually… was to make a plan. To avoid that feeling of a “wasted day” (I know, I am sounding really selfish right now to any non-teachers reading this), I would schedule mine out. Every day, I would start with the time I wanted to wake up and from there I would create thirty minute to one hour intervals of various things that all related to my overall goals for the summer. From small activities to big projects; the tasks ranged from reading to working out to painting the kitchen. Without planning my day, it may seem like I would be relaxing a lot more. But for many teachers, relaxing doesn’t consist of day after day of lawn chairs and canopies. There is always room for that, but when you have two months off, there are other things that equate to relaxing as well.

 

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