Many educators across North America are either about to go on break or are already on their summer break. I don’t know if the term “break” is accurate (I saw someone refer to it as “recovery”) because I know from experience, that many (if not most) take advantage to grow with formal and informal learning opportunities. That is great, but I am also an advocate of taking an actual break where you step away from it all and do what you need to do. The important thing is to read your mental health and do what you need to take care of yourself. No profession seems to get as much guilt from those outside the profession (and sometimes within) for actually taking a break. Sometimes stepping away actually brings us back rejuvenated as it helps to recenter our focus and remind us of what we love.
There was one year in my career where I thought it would be my last in education. I was frustrated and wasn’t sure if teaching was for me anymore. I went away for the summer and just got away from education, and I will tell you, it was the best thing that I had ever done. Not only did I come back refreshed, but I also had changed my attitude significantly. There were things that I was frustrated with and what I realized is that there were some elements that I could not change because they were out of my control, but I could change how I looked at things. That break saved my career and changed my perspective from wanting to leave education to loving it more than ever.
Breaks sometimes are not only about stepping away but are about personal growth. How that growth happens is going to be different for each person, and that should be celebrated. Catching your breath might be the oxygen you need to keep going.
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