This past summer I worked hard. I had a lot of good ideas I wanted to do in my class, and they required a good bit of prep. Digital documents and new projects. So I spent my summer working a few hours each day when I had the time, planning my entire year and creating everything I needed. I thought this would help me get ahead and hit the ground running when August came. I would already have everything ready, and the year would start off really great. I was wrong. School was good, but I was not.
On day one, I was already behind. The beginning of the year just seems to go that way. And then on the second day, I had a meltdown. A major one. I freaked out that morning, thinking that I couldn’t do this anymore. It was too much, and I couldn’t handle it all. I spent all that time over the summer for nothing. And I just broke down. Sitting in my bedroom, I convinced myself that I couldn’t do this anymore. All of this on just the second day of school.
The school year has gone well. Things have gone pretty smoothly in my classroom, but inside, I was a wreck. I realize now that the reason for the freak out wasn’t the stress. It wasn’t the workload. It wasn’t being behind. It was a lack of rest. I spent my whole summer working, so my brain never had a break.
Rest is vitally important. It helps our bodies recuperate after minds recuperate. If you put your body through a rigorous workout, if you run a marathon, you take some time off afterward. You have to let your body repair itself.
The mind is the same way. So when we have times to rest, we must take full advantage of it.
I learned my lesson. So when Christmas break approached, I worked really hard during the two weeks before break to put together everything that I knew I was going to need for the week after we came back from break. I worked hard and got it all together during a time when often I just coast to the end of the semester.
Because I did that, I finished everything I needed to do. I had the first week of my second semester ready, and I didn’t have to do anything at all over break. I just got to read I just got to relax. I got to do whatever I wanted, and if I did anything for work, it was just because I wanted to, not because I had to.
I don’t have the stress of being ready. I don’t have the stress of having to grade things. I just get to rest. And because I’ve rested, I’m ready to go again. If you don’t take the time to rest, you’re no good to your students, your colleagues, or yourself.
Take time to rest. Your body, and mind, need it.