How to Live Your Best Break: Winter 2017 Edition

Teachers and students produce their best work in December. Yes, everyone is stressed, students are antsy, and daylight is dwindling. It makes sense that articles about teacher exhaustion are rampant on our social media feeds this time of year. But this month is also the culmination of nearly three months of hard work, and often, that hard work finally pays off in December.

Because of this diligence, you deserve to kick back, relax, and enjoy the winter break. In case you aren’t sure where to begin, here’s a list to help you live your best break this year:

  1. Let Oprah’s wisdom guide your time off.

As one of the great philosophers of our time (I’m mostly kidding), Oprah’s wisdom can set just the right tone for a relaxing and inspiring winter break.

Here are a few quotes I’m considering:

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” Spend the break with your family and friends. Don’t waste time going to a party that you feel obligated to attend.

 “Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” Don’t stress about what you didn’t finish last semester or the lesson plans you have to prepare for next semester. Take a solid seven days off from work and breathe.

“My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.” Eat good food with your best friends. Enjoy an hour-long lunch—and don’t use a microwave!

  1. Read a book that has been on your reading list all year long.

Find a comfy chair, grab a mug of tea, and let an author engulf you in a literary world where there are no exit slips and guided questions. I’ll be reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

  1. Celebrate.

Take the opportunity to identify three successful moments from your classroom this year and share them with the next person who asks, “How’s school going?” Focus on the positive, and your students’ growth and success. You’re intentional in your classroom every day, and you should be just as intentional about recharging on your break. You deserve it.

Kari Patrick teaches high school English at STEAM Academy in Lexington, Kentucky. She also serves as Senior Advisor of Teacher Outreach for the Collaborative for Student Success.