Merry Christmas!  Happy Chanukah! Happy Festivus!  Now that winter holiday celebrations are in full swig and you’re probably finally getting some much needed rest (actually sleeping a full six hours!) Go you!

Here are the top three things you should be getting done this winter break.  Because, before you know it, it’ll be the night before your first day back and you’ll be looking at that long ‘to do’ list you made yourself in full panic mode.

First things first, you have got to relax.  Getting through the first four or five months of the year is a huge feat.  You should be proud of all the hard work and dedication that went into achieving growth this fall.  You have made attainable growth and you’ve set your students up for success the rest of the year.  Phew, you did a lot; now you should celebrate with your feet up and a few cocktails.

Take this time to rest, to listen to mind and body, spend time with loved ones, and no matter what… DO NOT TALK ABOUT WORK!  This break is about resting and relaxing.  If you’re going to be doing work or preparing that’s one thing but don’t dwell or go into the new year with bad blood with 2016.  Listen, 2016 was one bad *&#@* to everyone.  Don’t bring its bad juju with you to 2017.

This way when you get back to school in January you’ll be in a better state of mind.

Inevitably, during time of rest one intuitively reflects on the past year.  I know that along with personal reflection (where I am and where I am going) I tend to reflect on my career.

My advice is for you to take some time to make sure that you are setting yourself up for success.  We might be on break now but we have five or six more months of school left and we have to make sure that we have the energy to get through it all (in a healthy state).

Ask yourself some questions:

What do you need to be successful?  Is there anything you need from your aids/co-teachers/principals?

How can you better align (or balance) your personal and professional life?  A happy teacher is a healthy teacher.  Are you taking time out every day to do something you love?

The more time spent on reflection that more prepared you’ll be when you get back to school.  You know yourself and you know what you need to be successful.  Taking time to reflect on this now will make a big difference when you are in the thick of mid year crisis.

The last thing you should be doing this break is getting some work on that ‘to do’ list done.  I usually break down the work into small increments to make sure that it’s doable but not all consuming.  Remember, you are on break and taking your two weeks to work a full day might get that work done but it won’t give you the break you need.

Instead I usually work for two or three hours each morning.  It’s a short time span but if you are able to work uninterrupted over the two weeks you can get 20+ hours of work done.  And all without sitting miserably in place for a full day.

If you’re lucky enough to be in a place where you have no work, well, go you!  You probably did a lot of extra work the weeks leading up to break. Take that same tenacity and be proactive.  Look ahead to the rest of the year.

  • Prepare for January- plan your weeks, get materials, set up centers.
  • Set up any Donors Choose projects during your break. It will be less work now and you’ll get ahead by having it posted before school even begins.
  • Think about what professional development opportunities you want to pursue. Think about how you want to set those opportunities up.  Email your principal to ask about funding.  Sometimes the early bird gets the worm.


I hope that you all are enjoying the break and reenergizing for January!  We hope to continue to be your choice as a one stop shop for everything ECE and primary.  Happy New Year!

Cinthya Quintana
Cinthya Quintana

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