Our lovely and wonderful students went home on Wednesday to spend time with their friends and family for winter break. Faculty and staff alike are also undertaking a time of rest. My goal over break is to read a few great books, reconnect with a few friends, and spend time with my family. Just after we return in January, report cards will be due for review by teachers. We have an impending professional day too and our world will ramp immediately back up to its frenetic pace. Our amazing Asst. Head of School wrote a great email to her Middle School faculty before break that reminded them to actually take a break. For like the diligent type A teachers we are, some of this rest time might be spent crafting amazing tomes for our parents to read about their children. My sincere hope is that while this might take a little time, that we all use these days as a time for respite.
Respite is one of my favorite words. I find that it to be a great noun-to take respite-a thing that is not tangible but is so incredibly valuable. Educators often shun respite; we work through illness, exhaustion, casting aside our personal lives for 8-12 hours a day so that we can be incredible teachers. This can lead us to a dark hole of burn-out. So taking our respite is essential to our strength as teachers. We must take breaks, true breaks, to renew our own bodies, minds, and souls in order to best serve our families and communities.
As our days are shorter and darkness finds our world earlier, I feel we have the natural reminder to slow down. To rejuvenate. I hope, dear reader, that as you take your own winter break that you find time for personal respite and renewal. It is not a selfish act to care for oneself, in fact, it is a great gift. As you give of yourself to others day in and day out, please use this time to allow yourself care. You will be better for having given yourself a well-deserved break.