Monday, January 2, 2012

The Infamous Countdown...

My winter break is quickly coming to a close. I know... I know... I am spoiled as an educator to receive such long "breaks" from time to time. My family and friends remind me of this often as they have already returned to work in between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. I am blessed to have these breaks as I know many other educators are too. No matter your profession, if you have received time to enjoy friends and family this past holiday season, you know what I am talking about. These breaks are well deserved by our profession: a profession of professionals who work extended hours every day of every week in between the breaks they do receive. This post, however, is not really about the breaks that come 3-4 times per year for most educators... This post is about the time spent in between the breaks. There is something I have observed for the last nine years as the "infamous countdown." All too often, many of us in the field of education sadly look to the next break as the next great "savior." This next week all across our country there will be educators starting the countdown just days or even hours after coming back from this past winter break. I can hear it now, "just 12 more days until MLK day," "if I can make it until Spring Break!," and "May 24th could not come soon enough!" I wonder, do our doctors say that about us patients? Do our realtors say that about their clients when they are showing homes? What about our professors? What about your local pastor, priest, or clergy? What if you heard them say... "I cannot wait until this Sunday is over... I want Monday to come!" My first year as a teacher, I remember one of my colleagues said "I can't wait for the break so I can get a break from those kids, those brats." I seek to change this negative attitude through leadership and through encouragement. Join me in helping change this culture if it so exists within your school. Just to be clear, I am not against counting down to goals just before a deadline that bumps up against a break. I am also not against celebrating when a break comes. I celebrate these well deserved breaks every time. But, again, this is not about the break... This is about our attitudes leading up to our breaks. It is about being positive and making the most of the time we are given with our students and our colleagues. I believe our students and colleagues deserve this... They deserve our best. How do you maximize your time? Do you struggle with the countdown? Do you view this is a impediment to many educators?

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