There have been times in the past that I talked about things teachers can do on their break. Those are fine and dandy, but there is a really important word here. BREAK. So what should you do over break? It’s not what you think!


They recommend that most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a night. And if you have been getting five or less, please make some time for you to get some sleep that you so desperately need.

Eat healthy. Drink water.

I know that holiday food is all the good things and we overindulge. I’m definitely not suggesting skipping your favorites, or flat out denying yourself. GO FOR IT. But avoid the holiday hangover when you go back to school in January by balancing it with some good for you foods and some water. There is nothing worse than needed a break AFTER a break. I’ve definitely been there before!

Start a new hobby, learn a new skill

If you’ve been wanting to start something, this is the perfect time. Take a little time every day to work on that new thing you’ve been wanting to do. Learn to knit, start running, read a book that isn’t related to school a week, or whatever that thing you want to do is that has been hanging over your head.


Don’t answer the emails. Turn off notifications and set yourself a vacation message. Say, “Hi, I’m unavailable. I will return emails at whatever date (and set that date for when you’re back in school).
Then turn it off, don’t check it, delete it from your phone if you have to.
If you get phone calls or texts, either ignore them, or send an “auto reply” message (even if it isn’t auto-reply) if someone breaks those boundaries,.

Say “Hi, I’m unavailable at this time. I will be back in the office/classroom on whatever day you go back”. Don’t answer the phone calls, don’t get involved in school things. It is a BREAK. We are allowed a BREAK. If there is an ACTUAL emergency, your admin will call you and tell you there is an emergency.

Get your calendar settled

Priority 1: Start with your family items. Your family commitments, appointments, personal events and things that are important to you. Include kids’ sport schedules, birthdays, anniversaries. This way when someone comes to you with a date, you know if you have a non-negotiable that day.
Priority 2: Personal things that are important to you like friend events, etc. Include things like Dr. appointments, self care, conferences you want to go to, and more.
Priority 3: Work items like important school events like concerts, PD, meetings, etc.

List your wins

Now we know that teaching has been super tough. There’s lots of things that are just not great about the current situation. And it’s just so tiring and hard, but there’s still things that have been good for us. There’s still things that you feel like, oh wow, I reached this kid, I had a successful performance, the kids were able to learn this concept, or I included a composer that I’ve never done and it represents my classroom better. Whatever those things are, whether they’re big things, or if they’re just little small individual wins, start a Google doc or a Google sheet or something, make a list and list the things that you feel really happy about from the last few months. Then add to it this year.
This is the biggest thing that I recommend you do over holiday break. List those wins because those are a real, tangible way that you are being an amazing teacher, even when you don’t feel like it.

Hope this helps and you all enjoy a wonderful break! I’ll be taking a break here too so I’ll see you all in January!

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