Teaching Profession Opinion

Thoughts After a Much-Needed Work Break

By Starr Sackstein — August 20, 2017 2 min read
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Summer is supposed to be a time for relaxation for educators, but in years past I’ve done anything but take time for myself.

Whether I went to edcamp after edcamp, consulted, spoke at conferences, or spent time writing a book, this well-needed time off was anything but that.

This year, however, I did it a little different.

Much of July was spent preparing for September (which isn’t uncommon). I began my leadership graduate program and took my first class. I keynoted a school district’s kick off and I spent time trying to sort out the changes quickly speeding my way.

And so, for the first time in years, I took a legitimate vacation. This wasn’t just getting out of my usual routine, it meant taking a break from social media and from all of my work...

Without even feeling guilty about it.

That’s right, I actually powered down for an extended period and I didn’t wither up and die from being disconnected. It was really great to connect with my life the same way I connect with my work.

Knowing that a year of great change is beckoning both professionally and personally, I’m committing to a concerted effort for real, lasting, and meaningful balance. After all of the self-help books I’ve read and/or listened to about being a badass or my best self, I’ve realized that to optimize each part of my life I MUST be fully present in whatever is happening right now.

And with that, this year promises to be a real roller coaster that I can’t wait to share with each of you. First up is taking my school district leader exams and then the wait to ensure that I have passed them. Much rides on my passing these exams even though I just started my leadership program and all I can do is trust in my ability to share what I know.

Since I am a bit superstitious, I’m still going to keep my new job title and place of business quiet until it is official, but I’m excited.

This fall, I continue my leadership courses: School Law and Current Issues in Education. I loved my supervision and accountability class this summer. It was an opportunity to reconnect with my love of learning at a time I think that will help me be more present with the teachers I’ll be working with.

Being a learner is essential for helping to lead learning, and staying close to that experience is going to help me transition into this new role with humility, creativity, and excitement.

So stay tuned as I continue to reconnect after a well-needed break. Spending time in the mountains and taking a road trip across the country was just what I needed to clear my head and prepare for year number 17 in education.

What did you do this summer to power down in order to gear back up for a great new school year? Please share

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