I have enjoyed my Easter holiday.
This is nice to be able to say, because since I started as a HoD in September (and before that, to be honest) my time management has not been brilliant, and holidays have flown by in their usual whirl. Half terms serve as the usual ‘blink and you’ll miss them’ pause for breath in the melee of teaching, and Christmas, while very enjoyable, was bookended by long flights and involved a lot of last minute stress and panic marking/planning when we got back. This holiday though, has been different.
I’ve got a ‘To-Do List’ book (if you like to-do lists, btw, you MUST buy one! They’re only £4 on amazon) and reading it usually resembles the picture above. Ticking things off is always a nice experience, but it’s usually so long that by the time I tick things off, I can’t enjoy it because another 5 things have come along to fill it. BUT – with three weeks of term to go, I decided to make a list on a separate page, a list of things I absolutely HAD to have done by the time I could consider the last term ‘finished’. And then I tried to train my brain to fight against every instinct it knew and not leave it till the last day of the holidays.
During the last week of term, I tried to work late most nights including the last Friday of term. I forced myself to believe it was just another day, not the start of the holidays. I had the weekend off, and then went into school for the first three days of the next week. I worked from 9-4 and completed my list, planned and resourced all my lessons for the first week back, finished up marking, had a couple of booster sessions with A-Level students, and most satisfying of all, ticked everything off my list without having to add anything new.
Then I switched off.
I left ALL my stuff at school and walked home and decided to start my holiday without having the black cloud of all the marking/planning/etc that I usually leave because by the end of term I’m so tired I can’t face it.
Since then I’ve been for days out, dog-sat for a few days, had bed days, played games, eaten out, sat in the sun, visited friends, read books, written an article, walked into town every day, played sport, re-joined the gym, and basically re-charged a set of batteries that were near expiry. It’s been great – just the sort of holiday I needed. I’m not pretending I haven’t got anything to do when I go back on Monday, but at least I feel like I’m coming at it fresh, and that makes all the difference.
Now I’m eagerly waiting to get into work tomorrow and work out what I forgot to do! Still, it’s been a nice break!