Winter PD: The “P” Is For Personal By Gretchen Vierstra

Winter PD: The “P” Is For Personal

It’s the last days of school before teachers and students are off to much deserved breaks. As my colleague Lily Jones posted last week, winter break is a great time to recharge professionally. However, don’t forget that winter break is also a time to recharge personally.

Educators spend so much time meeting the needs of others that we often forget about ourselves. This winter break, take the time to do personal development as well as professional, so that you’re refreshed and rejuvenated for 2016.

To help you out, we asked our Tch Laureates how they plan to relax over the break, and they shared fantastic ideas. Tom Jenkins is going to enjoy favorite sports by playing basketball, attending his son’s wrestling matches, and taking his son to a college football game. Josh Parker plans on embracing the holidays staycation style by creating a regional smorgasboard of his favorites: pizza, Cheerwine, and fried shrimp!

We also asked our laureates for suggestions and tips for what you, the Tch community, might do to recharge. Take a look at the list below for ideas on how you can relax over the break.

Family & Friends Time

The break is obviously a great time to catch up with family and friends. In addition to good old-fashioned conversation, try one or more of these ideas:

  • Sean McComb recommends using a fun jar. Get a jar and fill it with things you’d like to do over the break. Pull one a day. Enjoy! It’s that simple.
  • Go on a movie-watching binge. Josh Parker’s must watch flicks include:CreedStar Wars, and Concussion.
  • Do some math coloring with little ones — or even by yourself! Kristin Gray recommends Patterns in the Universe.
  • Kristin Gray also recommends spending time in the kitchen. Her favorite recipe is for Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies.

Me Time

Educators spend a lot of time surrounded by the sounds and energy of students. Break is a great time to do something on the calmer side:

  • Marion Ivey suggests listening to beautiful music. Her favorites include songs by Astrud Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Sergio Mendes.
  • Sean McComb recommends trying some mindfulness practice. He says theStop, Breathe, and Think app is a great, easy way to start.
  • Maria Perryman is looking forward to cuddling in a blanket with a good book and a favorite snack. Marion Ivey’s snack of choice for reading is hot cocoa.
  • In fact, most of the Laureates are looking forward to reading. Their suggestions include: Go Set a WatchmanThe Housekeeper and the ProfessorBetween the World and Me, and Rising Strong.

Here at Teaching Channel, we hope this list inspires you to stop looking at your “to do” list long enough to do something on your “just for me” list. And when you have a chance, let us know what you’re doing over the winter break to rest up for 2016!

Gretchen Vierstra taught middle school for ten years in the San Francisco Bay Area. During her 15+ years in education, she’s also been a department chair, new teacher coach, curriculum developer, and policy analyst. She is an Education Content Manager at Teaching Channel. Follow Gretchen on Twitter: @gretchenvee.

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