Saturday, November 5, 2016

Why I Finally Took A Vacation Day As A Teacher (And Why You Should Too)

I have been a teacher for six years. During my time teaching I can't recall a time that I have ever taken a vacation day. 

Sick days, I can remember a few of those, but I have never taken a day off just because. Well, that is, not until yesterday.

As a teacher I know the burden and guilt that comes from taking time off of work. Not to mention the fact that writing sub plans can be a pain. 

However, as a teacher it is important that we make time for our families and that we make time for ourselves. After all if we are coming to school tired and stressed out we will not be in the right frame of mind to help our students anyway.

This realization is one that has been a long time coming for me. It  actually took a promotion this year from teacher to teacher mom to help me get my priorities in order. As a part of this priority shift I have been spending less time at school and more time at home with my family (and I feel happier and less stressed because of it). 

In fact the reason I took a day off was so I could spend time with my daughter. I was also able to get caught up on some TPT projects.

Teaching is a tough profession, and I know that some of you may be reading this thinking there is no way I can afford to take time off of work. Well, I am saying that you CANNOT afford to NOT take time off of work. 

In fact I challenge you this school year to take at least one vacation day or mental health day. Let me know how it goes. I guarantee you will return to work refreshed and that you will be a better teacher for taking the time for yourself.

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  1. I was like that for many years. This year I took my first vacation day and went to go see my parents for my dad's birthday. That weekend was so priceless that I think it's going to be a yearly tradition. Thank you for sharing this article! :)

  2. Amen. My first year, I taught at a large inner-city school. I was not prepared for the stress I encountered. One day, my principal looked at me and said, "I don't want to see you here tomorrow. Take a mental health day." I had never heard of that. It was such a blessing. Every teacher should do it.

  3. I am sorry but I cannot agree. I do understand the sentiment that people need to be well rested and that our jobs are not the be all and end all of life. BUT, school districts where I live are on VERY tight budgets. TOCs cost $150+ per day. If hundreds of teachers took a "mental health day" that would substantially affect how money is spent. I would rather they support my program, than give us a day off. I get 2 weeks vacation at spring break, 8 weeks in the summer and 2 weeks at Christmas. I know no other profession with that kind of holiday schedule. Yes, I work hard, and long hours, but I get my breaks. In my humble opinion, it is better to find balance in life than to expect an extra day off, just because. :-)