Are You Headed for a Spring Breakdown?

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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?