Slice of Life Tuesday: A Teaching Break

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When I boarded my flight to San  Francisco, I was in a panic…the book I’d been reading (a book about teaching, naturally!) while waiting to board had somehow gone missing.  I dug about in my backpack and discovered that I had also somehow managed not to pack the second book (also about teaching) I had intended to read on my journey.

By the time San Francisco came into view, I had watched three silly movies and two interesting documentaries.   I was slipping out of teacher mode.


While in San Francisco, I took long walks with my brother, played tennis with my sister in law and niece, lounged by their pool, and enjoyed lovely meals in chic restaurants.  In between all of that, I read  books about silly people making messes of their lives in hilarious ways…and always in lovely settings: the Hamptons, London, the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  I was definitely out of teacher mode.

I left  San Francisco with one of these books, and began reading it as the city disappeared from view:


I watched a movie that terrified me and followed that with one that made me laugh out loud (yes, literally).

Then, I opened my planning notebook and began to sketch out my summer learning plans.  A much needed teaching break in hand, I can now get back into my real world again, and back into the teacher mode.


25 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: A Teaching Break

  1. Tara, I found myself sitting in a beach chair with one of those fluffy beach reads in hand – something I would normally not read. And you know what? It was EXACTLY what I needed. Our brains need a break – sounds like you had a lovely one.

  2. It always takes me a while to unplug from school. You are so lucky to have had a trip so you could physically separate yourself from school and return refreshed.

  3. I believe everything happens for a reason and that’s why those two books mysteriously disappeared! You needed a break for just you! Nothing’s better than getting together with family and having fun. Keep on making those memories! 🙂

  4. Some small ‘elf’ left those books behind so you could be silly & terrified, and watch others make messes of their lives. Sounds like a great time away! I enjoyed seeing your pics, too, Tara. Don’t get back to ‘teacher mode’ all the time. Isn’t it time also for farm mode?

  5. That sounds just like what the doctor ordered! I’m finally thinking about my summer learning plans as well. Can’t wait to see you next month.

  6. Glad you had a break, even if it was unintentional. It is so hard for me to take a break from my teacher brain too! I am trying to schedule time for both kinds of summer.

  7. My first reaction was, “Tara has a brother in San Francisco and was a mere 8 hours or so from me! ”
    A kind of joy that you were “so” near!!😃 Even though I was in the mid-west at the time. Then some new thinking brewing in me about the artifical division I hold between my personal and professional lives. Recently I was puzzling through something in a relationship and I used some of my teacher strategies. It was truly helpful and a new way of exploring was started. Vice verse can be true, too. All of it contributing to a richer life for me I am starting to believe. As often your words nudge me deeper!

  8. First response: Envy that you were on vacation in San Francisco, a place I hold dear in my heart. Second response: Air travel helps me to “break away” from my “real life.” Something magical happens when the plane lifts off the ground. Third response: Kids need silliness, magic, wonder in their lives, and so does the “kid” that’s left in us. I hope you give that “kid” losts more opportunities to get out and play this summer. We are not getting any younger!

  9. At a conference, I listened to Sharon Taberski say that students always need to have a nonfiction book in their book box as a brain break from any other kind of reading. This was your brain break, but instead you didn’t need nonfiction, but reading/watching with no purpose other than entertainment. Well done!

  10. Sometimes we all need a break, Tara! I’m sure your students will love hearing about the movies and books their teacher watched/read when she was on summer vacation. Narrative reveals itself in so many forms! We watch a movie, read a story, remember a moment, retell it… You may have had a break from teacher mode; but I know you will incorporate that experience in your teaching!!!

  11. I can relate to that feeling of panic when you are without the books you wanted to read, but it sounds like it was actually what you needed – a little time away from teaching.

  12. Such fun to read of your time to unplug from school and indulge in fun. I’m headed home tomorrow and hope to start DIY Literacy and finish a MG novel I started several weeks ago. Life has been busy! But plane time is its own kind of down time.

  13. Downtime is time to relax, notice, and wonder about life. Out of teacher mode is sometimes a very good move that allows you to rejuvenate the spirits and get back into the game. Enjoy your summer, Tara.

  14. Wow, that was a quick switch in and out of modes. I suppose you really didn’t have a choice in the end. Switching in and out can be tricky. I also would need a little help and a few mindless books to set me back on the straight and narrow. Enjoy the rest of your summer. Pace yourself, youv’ve got weeks to go!

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