Be There

Myrtle Beach, SC Spring Break 2007 8Image by Curtis and Eric via FlickrMany of us have spring break or fall break (depending on the hemisphere.)

It is VITAL to relax and rest and few of us get enough of it.

I'm profoundly reminded of this in the excellent book The Way We're Working Isn't Working that demonstrates that those who take ALL their vacation get 7% higher performance reviews than those who don't!

If you could put three things on your spring break list:

  • Rest

    Sleep and do not apologize. We need eight hours. Some pretend to need less but again, read the book I listed above for the research on our perpetual sleep deficit. Reading that book has freed me to REST and take naps and I'm performing better for it. (I've been doing this for two weeks and look at how many blog posts I've written, for goodness sakes.)

  • Relax

    Just hang out. Do some things you enjoy. Take care of yourself. Read a book that has nothing to do with anything. (I read the Jack Reacher novels for my relaxation.)

  • Reach Out

    There are probably many people in your family or neighborhood who aren't connected to social media. If they are, take time to Skype someone you love from far away. If they are not connected on a computer – take time to go see Aunt Josephine or Uncle Tom. Set aside an hour or two and take them something they like to eat. Bring a photo album. Take time.

    If your relative has great stories and you want to preserve them, take a video camera and record those conversations and stories for your children and grandchildren. Feel the generations ahead of you sitting behind that camera lens looking over your shoulder. Savor the moment and the stories. (These DVD's make great Christmas presents!)

    When we spend time with older people we can gain perspective on where we're heading ourselves. If you think you'll never get old then one day you'll wake up and realize you ARE old! ;-)

    I read about a study asking older people what they had done more of in their life and one was “leave a legacy.” (The others are “reflected more” and “taken more risks”.)

    When we reach out, we leave a legacy to our children of the example we should be but we also make ourselves better.

    If you don't have immediate family that is older, then find a convalescent home. One of the things that my sisters like to do is to get allergen free lotion and go into convalscent homes – older people love having lotion rubbed on their hands. Just gently rub lotion (if they like it) and talk to them. Sing if they want to. If they think you're someone from long a go. That is OK. Or make something ahead of time like a picture drawn by a child or a photo frame with a picture of a beach or some place in it.

    Whatever you are in your faith walk  – this is a great thing to do. If you're a Christian, we're supposed to do this out of love for Christ. Take time to reach out to those who aren't connected digitally! REMEMBER!!  Whatever you hand out is often handed back to you! If people visit you as much when you are old as you visit the elderly – will you be lonely or have lots of company?

I hope you have a great spring break. I plan on going completely off the grid for a few days. If I get my posts written and scheduled, you may see them post but some comments may have to be moderated when I return.

We NEED this time – let's use it well and let's never forget those among us who are not connected digitally. If we want to be a great generation of teachers and parents it will be reflected upon how we treat the generations before us.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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David Andrade April 4, 2011 - 12:29 pm

Great ideas Vicki! I think too many educators try to catch up with lesson plans and grading over vacation and they really need to relax and recuperate.

I also love reading the Jack Reacher novels. Have you ever read Lincoln and Child’s books? Excellent too.

coolcatteacher April 5, 2011 - 12:41 pm

I need to look into those books! No, I haven’t.

Brandon April 5, 2011 - 5:13 pm

I think I would go crazy if I wasn’t able to relax over spring break. I will do some work but I will definately be catching up on lost sleep and reading. As a new teacher I need to do a lot of work, but if i want to survive until June, relaxation will be key.

coolcatteacher April 5, 2011 - 7:41 pm

It is hard to survive!! I’m finding it hard to relax after a night of tornadoes last night but am looking forward to going “off the grid.”

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