The past ten weeks have slipped away, some days blurry, others skipped by very purposefully, others were over before they started and a few seemed longed than they should have been. But, this week a calm has washed over our campus – fall break. As I move between tasks I am content, my thoughts are clear, I am focused on the sound of the maintenance team sanding our outside doors preparing for new paint. All week there has been a flitter of activity on campus with teams doing one thing or another, replacing ceiling tiles, ripping up and tacking down new carpet or resealing the floor in our multipurpose room. I am excited for the return of students, staff and parents next week. However, this quiet time was much needed. Not only for myself, for teachers, staff, students and parents– a time to rejuvenate and rest, a time to reflect and refocus.
A few teachers were in and out preparing for the week that awaits them after break. Parents stopped by to withdraw or enroll students. I don’t want to lose kids, but I also understand that sometimes life happens and families have to move on. That said we will always have new students and parents join our family. That’s just the way it happens. Some months more, others less, we have come to know it as part of who we are, a constant flow of new students in and familiar faces leaving. I wonder who will move on and who will join us?
I love coming into school over break and listening to the building. I know it sounds quirky, but during the school day, it is too easy to get caught up in walk-throughs and evaluations, meetings and professional development, breakfast, lunch and duties, arrival and dismissal, analyzing assessment data and facilitating grade level plc’s, observing student behavior and meeting with parents. Time over break gives me a chance to walk around the playground, swing on the swings, slowly walk down the dark hallways, and gaze into empty classrooms reflecting on teaching and learning. I see students engaged in learning and working in groups to solve problems. I hear teachers refocusing students and asking questions pushing them to explain their thinking. I feel fortunate to get to do this work and do it along side amazing people who put children first and do what it takes to achieve greatness. It is a time for me to reflect on teaching and learning, on student and teacher growth and goals. It is a time to re-evaluate the past ten weeks with a clear mind and an open heart, looking ahead with eyes wide open, preparing for what lies ahead in the next ten weeks.
When you have a break, in what ways do you rejuvenate and rest, reflect and refocus? How do you reset?