If I just finished year 3 as an admin, so this is my 4th summer of figuring out how to work and not work through the summer break. I build my own work calendar, obviously working when students are in session, but the other days are up to me. Initially I followed tradition/my colleagues. I’d work solid through most of June, work a day or two in July then return full time in August. Seemed reasonable and more in line with my vacation time as a teacher.
Nope. No good. Wrong answer. For me.
I just found myself working anyway. The District Office never closes. Emails trickle in. And I have made myself so available to staff and colleagues (good stuff!) that the availability didn’t stop when I was ‘off work.’ And I would never avoid helping someone or lending an ear because I was ‘on vacation.’ Yes, I do have boundaries, but I’m first and foremost a helper and a friend.
So this year, drum roll please….
I’m working every Monday (and an occasional Tuesday so the days work out). It’s perfect!!! I go into the office, check in with our custodian and any other work crews on site, get to my to-do list and then leave it all there for the next Monday. Emails glow briefly on my phone screen and I do acknowledge the sender and subject but then I let it go (cue the music). Let it go! Let it go! Turn away and slam the door! And I really do. My vacation email message takes care of the rest! And I actually take the next six days off!
Now for those of you checking the date of this post, it is Wednesday. I’m off. But my blog, my Twitter chats, my Feedly, etc. are all my summer learning/hobby. My option, my choice, my time.
The good news is I’m still figuring things out. I love that. I’m scheduled later this month to share a presentation/talk about my leadership and support of teachers and risk taking around integrated technology. I chuckle. My opening line will be, “I don’t even know what I’m doing most of the time!!!” Quickly followed by, “But I know who comes first in my work–kids! And if I’m going to support kids, then I better give their teachers the encouragement, resources and support they need.” From there I’m good.
Scheduling my own work time didn’t ever sound like a challenge. You work, you don’t work, done. The trouble is I just love my job. So I work, and I work and I work a bit more. At least now I’ve got a handle on it to provide some balance. That’s always the goal.
How’s your work balance during summer?