Looks like nearly all zillion school districts in Houston go on spring break the same time. Dave says the office is really quiet this week, workmate’s and their families are off skiing somewhere, probably. I was thinking about how important a break is to teachers. Some people think that a teacher’s yearly schedule is ideal; working shorter days, getting three months off. That’s not really true. Teachers need that break from the intensive day to day demands and schedule in their classroom.
To show for my spring break, my husband and I have nearly completed the landscaping in our front circle. It has large square rust and gray colored stones outlining a curvy walkway that leads in and out of the circle. It will soon be filled with flagstone that is reddish in color peppered with white leftover limestone from the house. We’ve made a large garden bed and filled it with native Texas plants and so far, they are still alive. And I’m hoping that the small white concrete bench will lend the area an informal invite to walk the path and come sit for a while. The whole project has been quite enjoyable. Lugging large stones and next to a zillion loads of dirt and sand into the space, planning the design and spending the money hasn’t been a drain on my mental and physical system, it’s been a boost.
The other thing we have to show for this spring break is a fence. Now, we aren’t doing the work ourselves but we sure are paying for some quality work out there. The 3 rail white vinyl fence (just like you see in the country magazines) is being installed by a master. You can tell. He wastes no movements, works methodically, checks his work frequently and talks little. In an essay I wrote for an undergraduate course, I called this type of person a ‘maestro’. Someone who is a master of his/her chosen field. My goal is to someday be a maestro in the field of education ….. but it is hard to give up days working at my own pace, creating something visibly pleasing.
Taking breaks are part of the process of becoming a maestro. It gives one time to regroup, rethink and reflect on their live’s goals. Spring break is a necessary thing if we, as a society, want to increase the quality of teachers working with its students. Problem is, most teachers are working even harder during their break catching up on unfinished projects, housework, appointments or working with their own children. What teachers truly need is a break from all their responsibilities. A trip somewhere, time to sleep in, time to read a book for leisure (instead of planning lessons for the next week or month), time to work towards something they enjoy. We all need it, whatever field we are in!