Ah, spring break! It’s one of the things that students and teachers look forward to all year. Except when you don’t have one. Tomorrow is my spring break; I get a three-day weekend and it’s back at it on Monday.
Crazy, no? Actually, this is not the first time I haven’t had a spring break. My previous district apparently didn’t believe in them or something, so almost every year I worked there, we would get Friday and Monday around Easter as our “spring break.” This year, new district, but because of construction deadlines, the school year is compressed a bit. The plus side is that I’ll be done with school on May 27th (though that doesn’t make me feel better right now).
Because of the schedule, most teachers in my district only get two days off between New Year’s and Memorial Day (President’s Day and Good Friday). Students have a few more days off, but those end up being teacher professional development or work days. It makes for a long haul, particularly in Minnesota where we’re still waiting for the warmth of spring to fully kick in. Kids are restless, teachers are tired, standardized tests are looming on the horizon…..all three combine to make school a bit chaotic.
Big deal, says everyone else in the “real world.” Teachers get three months off, so why should they need breaks during the year? Well, don’t you have vacation days? In my jobs, I’ve only ever had (at most) 3 vacation days all year. Now don’t get me wrong, “regular” jobs don’t have breaks built in like we do in schools (winter break, thanksgiving, MEA, etc.). But people who work at “regular” jobs also don’t have to do all of their work in advance so somebody else can take their place.
Plus, we all need a break. Americans are notorious for not taking time off. Somewhere along the line, we adopted this culture that says taking time off is a bad thing, like it means we’re less committed to our work. For me, even though I’m a bit of a workaholic, I love getting time away. Whether I have big plans or none at all, I still need time away to recharge.
As I embark on my luxurious three day break, what will I be doing? Not much. Spending time with my family, and honestly, probably doing some work on the side. Hoping for nice weather so we can enjoy some sunshine. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even write a blog post or two…