No matter your role in education there is one constant – the work is tough. Consuming, involved, detailed and challenging are all words that could easily describe the overarching work we collectively do on a daily basis. Rewarding, inspirational, exciting and engaging are all words that could describe the work as well.
No matter your aspect in this work whether an elementary classroom teacher, central office administrator, high school counselor or middle school assistant principal, you’re constantly on – pedal to the metal from August to June when the school year ends.
As connected educators sometimes we never slow down. Even those of us working all or part of the summer sometimes don’t take time to slow down, cut off and self-care. We’re always learning, growing, reading, blogging, PDing, etc. on top of other professional obligations. I know this because I’m often guilty of such as well year after year.
This year I put a stop to that. The month of July — I all but cut off. Very little tweeting, no blogging, no professional reading, a month related to self-care. Why? I knew when August 1 came it was going to be pedal to the metal. Nonstop until the end of the school year. The blogging would come (here it is!) the professional literature, books, resources, tweeting, Twitter chats, vlogs, etc. would all be there to enhance the work.
The value of self-care is well documented by a wide variety of extremely reputable resources:
Spending several days on my family’s farm in Ohio away from the hustle and bustle of the fast-paced world of the city and our profession personifies being cut-off. Peaceful. Calm. The above photo captures the essence of that. The learning, growing and work will be there. At the end of the day when we have time to invest in ourselves we need to do such. I’m grateful I have and encourage my brothers and sisters in education to do more of this. I’m all for professional growth, but I’m also for the value of self-care as well. Sometimes we fail as the later. Its vital we invest in that too.
We live in a fast paced world and work in a profession that is rapid as well. This requires us to be on – ongoing. Cutting off, resting and relaxing for a full month has been incredible. I’ve continued being on during my time off many times before. This go around I’m so thankfully for cutting off because I’m completely refreshed and recharged. Ready to take on the 2018-19 academic year like none other!