Saturday, March 22, 2014

Take a Break


For many, waking up this morning brings with it a break, Spring Break. As it happens around the world, when there are scheduled breaks it is common for families to head to a destination to relax, many find warmth if they live in a colder climate, and treat themselves to a few days of uninterrupted quiet time.  Of course what that quiet sounds like depends on those tagging along.

While traveling a few years ago abroad I was able to witness a break in the school year in the small town of Sorrento, Italy along the Almafi Coast. Families were hustling to the beaches by day and taking over the busy streets by night. What I found most unique was that just like many of the traditions we have, the families in Italy were almost identical in their planning.

I was amazed by what I saw.

Simply find warmth, surround yourself with family and indulge yourself in conversation of reflection of the time past, present and well into the future all intertwined in the banter.

My surprise was not in the fact that a town some 4800 miles away was also having a break, it was more in the realization that this digitally driven world is more identical in its deepest roots of traditions, schooling and prioritize.

As educators we rarely "stop" in the work we do. Safely speaking, our jobs are 12 months out of the year. Whether teaching each day, growing ourselves professionally during "off months" or simply bringing our work at home in the evenings, many times emotionally, rarely can we leave the work behind. It is the nature of our profession.

As creatures of habit, just like the people of this small town tucked into some of the most beautiful cliffs of the Mediterranean Sea, we need to allow ourselves to take a break from the work we do. Sure enough, upon the end of the 7 days, we will once again be back into the hallways and classrooms and make the difference we pride ourselves on. And with that, comes some of the greatest rewards we can have.

Regardless of your destination, near or far, pledge to yourself that you will treat yourself to a break of sorts. Take time to rejuvenate before the hustle of the season ahead. You have earned some time to yourselves, take it.