Monday, July 2, 2018

Take Time For Rest

    As I sit at the dining room, completely sun-burnt, at the beach house in Stone Harbor, New Jersey where my wife's family spends a week each summer, I came to a realization...  This may be the first real week of rest I have taken.  Sure I was in Disney last week, but it took until Wednesday for me to delete the Twitter app off my phone for the week so that I would intentionally take a break from professional learning.

     While I have been on summer vacation, I have been designing basic outlines for units as I prepare to teach a class I have never taught before.  I have researched ideas to bring more innovation to my seventh graders.  I have presented at a conference and my division's administration meeting, and I have been working to help with scheduling a new initiative at my school.  All this occurred as I continued to film Edusations, prepare for #waledchat, and podcast, and work on my master's degree.
While I LOVE all of these things, I was beginning to feel exhausted.  I felt my enthusiasm zapped like a kid at the end of a sugar rush.
     I had to remind myself of something my mentor at Messiah College told me... "Phil, you've got to rest and take time for yourself."  Don't get me wrong, I have not forgotten those words, I tweet them to teachers feeling burned out on a regular basis, but what I was not doing was applying those ideas to myself.  That will change this week as I carve out time for myself and my family.  I'd also like to provide some ways that I intend to rest heading into the summer -- to help others like me who like to have applicable strategies beyond the "Just go rest" responses.

1. Pinterest Day - This is a tradition my wife and I started last year.  It may also be my favorite one.  On Pinterest Day, my wife and I each pick one meal from Pinterest that we personally want to make and then compromise on the others.  So we have a breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert inspired from Pinterest.  We will sit down and watch Harry Potter movies, and enjoy some delicious food!

2. Swimming With The Strunks - My parents have a pool, so try to make it up to Philadelphia a few times during the summer to go and take a relaxing swim with my family.

3. Netflix - LB and I save watching The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl for summer.  It is a fun way to relax during the day.

4. Write - I have wanted to write a book for a long time.  Even if it does not get published, I would love to be able to have created an original story.  I have been mulling over the idea for a SciFi book for a long time, and just outlined it in the Spring.  I would really like to begin to write some chapters of it.

5. Sleep In - I have not done much sleeping in during the summer, I would like to fix that.  Even at Disney, we were up before the crack of dawn so that we could get at the park at opening and we would not leave until closing (yes our Fitbit scores were amazing, and the pain in my feet were very real).

6. Date Nights! - My wife and I love the city of Winchester.  There are so many incredible places to visit, and to eat at!  We'd like to drive around and try some new places in the Winchester area.

7. Time with Friends - I am blessed with incredible friends from church and work in the area.  My small group has not met together in a few weeks because of the summer softball league, but I'd like to  get together and do something fun with them!  Likewise, my friends from work are absolutely incredible, and I would love to catch up on how the first month of summer has been.  One of my friends had his second daughter turn one, another friend went to Belize, another went on a cruise, and a host of other things.

Taking time to rest and recharge is essential for us as educators.  If we don't take that time to rest we are like a cup with a hole at the top and the bottom.  Hopefully, some of my strategies can help you think of what works best to recharge you!

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