School Leader's Toolbox: Slowing Down for the Holidays

Teachers love Christmas break more than their students.  It's a needed break from the push to fit exams in between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  School leaders can benefit from the break as well.  With a bit of planning, the break can be extremely renewing.  

Here are some common-sense tips for getting the most out of the break:

  • Clean your desk before you leave for break.
  • Activate your "out of office" notifyer.  This should be in both your email and voicemail.  A good message sounds something like this, "Thanks for your call.  I'm out of the office until January 2 at which time I'm happy to return your call.  Merry Christmas!"
  • Unplug from social media.  
  • Spend more time with those you love than with those you serve at work.  It's tempting to email, call or get in touch with your commitments at work but fight the urge- enjoy your time away from work ... with your family and friends.

A word about going into work during a break.  I actually recommend it.  Here's why- if it helps you to stop thinking about work, do a little here and there.  If you need to go into work for an afternoon or two, that's perfectly ok.  Again, all in moderation here.  Be on the same page with your family so that they understand why you're doing some work.  My wife is great with this and knows that it's impossible for me to completely detach from work during a holiday break.  I get it out of my system and then re-enter my vacation.

The bottom line is simple: to be ready and recharged for the rest of the year, rest when you can.  There's no better window for this than Christmas break.

How do you unplug for the holidays?