If you’ve spent any time in front of the television lately, you’ve probably seen the MasterCard [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNjYn6k7vMA] commercial exhorting parents to take “one more day” of vacation. Apparently, “400 million vacation days go unused” by American workers. This most likely doesn’t apply to teachers – our work place closes down during strategic times of the year and so we are not present at our work site in the same way others might be. But as any teacher knows, and especially every school librarian, time off doesn’t always equate to time off from school. We may be at home but most likely we are taking online courses, creating online courses, fixing our library website, reading books to recommend to students, studying new teaching strategies, cataloging books, participating in PD, creating new lessons or hundreds of other teaching related tasks. Even when we are traveling we often stop at a local bookstore or crafts fair to discover the perfect book or item we can use in our library in some way.
A recent Time Magazine article noted that 61% of employed vacationers participate in work related emailing [38% of their vacation time], chatting with their boss, client, or co-workers [20%] and accessing work documents [32%]. While school librarians may stay connected to their schools, especially during the weeks just after school lets out and the weeks just before school begins, this is still vacation time that deserves our turning our attention to those activities at home and with our families.
So here it is: it is important to take time away from our everyday work, if nothing else: to gain perspective and to connect to other interesting parts of our lives. We spend countless hours helping our students discover their passions and reaching their dreams. It’s equally important for us to take the time to dream, and create, and explore those things we love.
Do take a moment now that it’s July to be with people who delight you, doing things you love to do and take this time to touch base with all those parts of you that get set aside during a busy school year. Many of us will travel to see family, or explore unknown regions. For some of us, we will find our passion in our gardens, our families and our communities. Day trips to the beach, mountains, or the local park fill our summer with those moments that allow us to re-connect.
Go forth and enjoy! August will be here soon enough….and when we arrive back after taking this time off… we will be rejuvenated and energized, ready to gear up for all the new adventures that school will bring. Rest up. Re-create. Breathe deeply… you deserve it.
See you in August!
Dickey, Jack. “Save Our Vacation.” Time 1 June 2015: 44-49. Academic Search Complete. Web. 13 June 2015. <http://search.ebscohost.com/ login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=102786745&site=ehost-live
Thompson, Derek. “The Case for Vacation: Why Science Says Breaks Are Good for Productivity.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Monthly Group, 5 Aug. 2012. Web. 13 June 2015. <http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/08/ the-case-for-vacation-why-science-says-breaks-are-good-for-productivity/260747/
Author: Connie Williams
NBCTeacher Librarian and author of “Understanding Government Information: a Teaching Strategy Toolkit for grades 7-12”. Member of the CA State Library Services Board, and History Room Librarian at the Petaluma Regional Library [Sonoma County Library]. She welcomes all conversation.. give a holler!
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