What role do weekends and holidays play in your teaching?
There’s no denying that teachers are in love with their free time. Free time is an unfair term to use because what I meant is time where we are not teaching or at work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s off duty. We are constantly taking work home for grading, planning for the upcoming days or weeks, or researching to ensure that we are as prepared as possible. This does not even address the emotional aspect of our job. It’s very easy to say that you leave your personal life at the door as well as your work life, but if we are being honest, that’s not always the case. I can recall coming home almost every day of my first year of teaching either crying or yelling in frustration. It wasn’t until much later that i was able to begin to sort out what was worth hanging onto and what wasn’t. So when I say that teachers love their free time, we appreciate the time away from the classroom to decompress.
The way that I utilize my weekends and holidays has transitioned throughout my career. During the first four or five years, I soaked up every non-teaching moment to created, edit, revise, and research my lessons. I have been able to slow down and find a happy balance between school and personal life more recently. Holiday breaks were usually spent visiting family back in Michigan because we lived so far away, and now that my husband and I have relocated to a location that’s easier for friends and family to visit, we have been able to play host.
Specific to how all of this impacts my teaching, it means that the “down time” has allowed for me to come back to school with a level-head and enthusiasm on Mondays. The truth is that I really like to spend my weekends being very low key, doing reading for my leisure and working on art projects. Of course I do get caught up on my television watching, and with football season in full swing, my husband and I have been enjoying watching our favorite teams. Overall, I like calm weekends and I’m at a stage in my life and career where I don’t feel the need to apologize for that.