Are You Headed for a Spring Breakdown?


Canter-c120x148Spring time is here, and so is burnout.

In the past few weeks, I have heard (and said on many, many occasions), “I’m so glad that spring break is just a few weeks away.” While the statement is true—I am looking forward to some much needed relaxation and some sun—I am always amazed at how burned out and stressed I tend to get at this time of year.

It’s completely understandable that educators become a bit irritable around the end of March. Standardized testing, planning for proms, graduations, field trips, end-of-year events, and so forth all take a toll on us. We often forget how much we need a work-life balance to continue positively affecting the lives of our students. If I’m not effective in my own personal life, how can I possibly be effective for my students?

With that said, I am aiming to do something for my students by doing something for myself. I am headed to Oregon for spring break to spend some time with good friends, enjoy some time outdoors, and just relax! I can’t believe I’m going to say it, but I plan on reading a book that has nothing to do with teaching and learning.

What excites me the most is that I will be able to get away and think more clearly without the pressing demands of work. I plan on leaving behind my laptop, work, and maybe even my iPad—maybe! Nonetheless, I am going to spend time with my loved ones and enjoy our time together so that when I return to school the Monday after spring break, I am more rejuvenated and energized to finish the year with a bang.

Of course, this is my first spring break as an administrator, so I could be oversimplifying matters. What do those of you seasoned administrators do on spring break to prepare yourself for the short weeks ahead? Do you find that refocusing on your personal relationships has a direct impact on your performance at work? What are some good strategies to recharge?


  1. I am in my first year as building principal and WOW, what a year it has been-and it’s not over! I also decided to spend the week relaxing and getting myself back on track. I have decided that giving my all to the school leaves very little for the family. I have many years left in education and cannot afford to burn out. Take time and relax.

  2. I’m already IN my spring breakdown…and our school lost its spring break to snow days. 🙁 I am a para with 19 years experience with my building, and am really starting to feel it. I get asked to take on responsibilities because I’m “invaluable” and “have a natural knack for teaching” yet all that gets me is more work. When I hear teachers complain about their piles of work, I can’t help thinking that at least they get two preptime hours a day and make at least twice as much money as I do. Seriously thinking of changing jobs.

  3. I think most of us in education are always looking forward to Spring Break, just as we do Winter Break and Summer Break. When we give our all throughout the year, the way so many of us do, the breaks are much needed rests – mind and body. I think we all love what we do, in spite of current politics. I know I don’t get tired of teaching or the students: I get tired of the politics that rules the system. Many people are now criticizing teachers, as if all the problems in today’s economy are the fault of teachers. I would love to see all the critics do what we do every day before they fault us.

  4. I hope you all enjoyed your Spring Breaks (if they weren’t cut due to budget issues). Mine was restful and I feel recharged and ready to face the next 2 months full steam ahead. Good luck fighting the good fight!


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