Let’s face it: The top 20 things teachers like to do over winter break might be filled with at least 10 days of a chance to sleep in, but we all know that most teachers are also caregivers, parents to children of all ages, or parents to fur kids—all of which have their own agenda. But teachers are people too, and we need to start a campaign to do something for ourselves to celebrate the time off we have each December.
The top 20 things I plan to do over winter break are:
- Catch up on my favorite Hallmark Channel holiday movies.
- Try to sleep in at least five times.
- Get all those errands done I don’t have time for during the school year, like routine dental appointments, physical exams, and eye exams.
- Clean out my closets to remove items I haven’t worn in the last two years and donate them to charity.
- Cook REAL meals complete with salads, veggies, a main course, and dessert at home rather than dining out or zapping out-of-a-box creations in the microwave.
- Spend time with family and friends.
- Walk and play with pets every day.
- Unplug and go outside!
- Call a long-distance friend or relative and have a good talk.
- Play board games with the family, tug-of-war with the dog, or build snowball forts and have snowball fights with the neighborhood children.
- Focus on ME for at least one hour daily. This time could be spent going to the movies (Star Wars!!!), getting a massage, taking a nap, or going to the beauty salon for a new hairdo.
- Volunteer! The holidays have many needs for volunteers—check with your local United Way or place of worship.
- Take a spontaneous road trip.
- Create music videos featuring holiday photos.
- Do something outside your comfort zone—bungee jumping, skydiving, scuba diving, ice skating, horseback riding, or other activities that will make great memories.
- Host a party with a fun theme: Yule Log, ugly sweater, game night, masquerade—you name it!
- Sing! Get a group together and go caroling.
- See a local band perform live.
- Handwrite letters on special stationary to mail to everyone I care about—email and texting are too easy!
The main thing is to know that as teachers, we give all of ourselves not only at school, but also at home. Carve out some time for you—it will make you a better teacher in 2018. Happy New Year!
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