How to Actually Free Your Calendar for Spring Break

Spring Break is a gift. It's time to break free from work and recharge so we have the energy for the final leg of the school year. Unfortunately, too many teachers spend their break working instead of doing things for themselves.

I'm as guilty of this as anyone, but this Christmas, I completely broke away from my job, and I want to share with you exactly how it can be done.

Beach photo with text, "How to Actually Free Your Calendar for Spring Break"

Just because you're staying home during spring break instead of hitting a beach somewhere doesn't mean you can't altogether leave work behind. You still deserve the break, and there are lots of things you can do for yourself at this time.

Read, schedule a mani/pedi, get a massage, meet friends for coffee, sleep in, exercise, go to a movie or out for dinner, do a little retail therapy. ðŸ˜‰

Here's how to do it.

Get Marking Done

Okay, I know this is a HUGE request. My first piece of advice would be to not let it all pile up at any time of the year. You certainly don't want to do this to use your break to do it.

What you need is a plan. 

Realistically look at the marking you currently have waiting for you. 

Are there things there that don't need to be marked? Is it enough to say that you've had a look at these and made a professional judgment about the quality of work without pulling out the rubrics? I had a stamp made to allow me to show that I've looked at this work, but it didn't require a formal mark. You can easily customize one of your own and have it made at Vistaprint.
Are there assignments that the students can mark with you in class? Set those aside to tackle in the weeks before the break.

Now look at what's left.

Make a plan to tackle a certain number of assignments each day to finish by the last day of your teaching week, preferably a couple of days before the break to give yourself some flexibility.


Take a look at your daybook and decide what you want to teach the first two days back at school. Do this during the last week before your break begins. 

Keep in mind that you and your students may very well need some time to review expectations, let students share how they spent their break with their peers, and just generally get back into a school frame of mind. 

Build these activities into your first few days back.

Get Copies Ready

Once you know how you'll spend the first few days after the break, it is time to get your printing and photocopying done

Don't leave this for the first day back. You don't want to stress yourself out by having to run around on your morning back to get things ready.

I combine my copies with binder clips and put them into my Sterilite drawers.

Photo of Sterilite drawers with custom labels.

Grab a free copy of the drawer labels with or without the graphics right here:

Free Sterilite drawer label offer.

Last Day Update

Before you leave school at the end of the last day of school before spring break, take a few minutes to update the daily/weekly items you regularly change in your classroom.

Change the date on your board, update weekly job rotations, move desks if this is part of your regular practice, update the agenda so that it is ready for the first day back.

Photo of daily class schedule available on TpT.

You want to be able to walk in after the break and have nothing to do except grab a cup of coffee.

Empty That Bag!!

Finally, take all of your teaching supplies OUT of your bag before you leave. 

Don't bring your daybook. 

Leave any marking you didn't quite finish behind.

Put the professional texts back on your shelf.

Tuck the grade book into a safe place.

Empty. That. Bag.

Take nothing home.

Have a Wonderful, Relaxing Spring Break

That's it. Make a commitment to yourself to relax and recharge this week. Do things for you because you do so much for others day after day.

Have a safe and restful spring break!

You might also be interested in the ideas I've shared in this blog post:

Photo of planner supplies with text, "How to Make Yourself a Priority in the New Year."

Take a look at some of the other inspirational ideas and resources on this Pinterest board:

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