Sunday, March 31, 2013

Not Working Is Okay Too

Woodpecker outside my classroom - banging his head
I had two weeks for Spring Break. And I had big plans. I was going to read those books that would help me in the classroom. I was going to organize my stuff in the garage (or at least make headway on it). I was going to get my home office cleaned up so I could work more efficiently. I was going to make some great center resources. And I was going to have some fun. (My mom and my wife insisted on the last one!)

So, I sit here at the end of my break...thinking about starting back to school...and realize that I was very unproductive during my break. And I'm starting to bang my head about it. Why didn't I get anything done? Why wasn't I productive?

Well, that's not entirely true. I spent most of the first week writing a research paper for my university class. Not very relaxing and not very helpful to my classroom - except for getting my permanent teaching license.

But I didn't clean the garage. I worked very little in the home office. I read for my university class...but not much other work-related reading. Well...I did read lots and lots of blogs online. And post some of those things to Evernote.

What did I do? I watched some movies. I read several other books. (Mysteries are my favorite.) I spent one entire day driving around the area with my wife...just for fun. I did some stitching.

And now, this last weekend, I've been berating myself and beating myself up for it. Why didn't I do all those work things? Why wasn't I productive? a reflective a moment that I decided to give myself a break...I realized. Not working (when I have the time) is okay, too. In fact, it's probably better than okay. I needed some down time. It's been a hard year. Maybe a few days thinking about other things will help me be a better teacher since it will help me be a better me.

Yes, spending time making or reading or organizing would help. But relaxing and disengaging and not thinking would help, too. I needed a break...and I took one. I need to be thankful for all that "productive" time. And now get back to work!

Is it hard for you to take some relaxation time? Do you feel guilty (like I do)? I'm working on it.


  1. I, too, have just finished an unproductive week of spring break. I wasn't feeling guilty, though, until I read your post :-)

    1. Don't feel guilty Tom! Unproductive can be the most productive of all!