Top 5 things teachers should do in the Christmas break


With a term of teaching for this school year almost under the belt, teachers up and down the country will be looking forward to the festive break. This time last year a report in The Guardian warned teachers to use the Christmas holidays to unwind in a bid to avoid burnout. It’s good advice that should be heeded. Recovering from the considerable demands of a teaching role is essential for good mental health.

As a teaching professional don’t be tempted to catch up on all the paperwork over the Christmas break. You need to rejuvenate, plus have a little bit of fun. You can still add in some classroom thinking time with our 5 handy tips for relaxing with a responsible twist.

1 – Write

We’re sure you’ve heard all about the benefits of keeping a journal. Now is a great time to start. Don’t leave it to the New Year and let it become a fizzled New Year’s resolution. Reap the benefits now. Take 20 minutes to write down all of your thoughts about how the last teaching term has gone. It’s an ideal time to reflect and set right anything that hasn’t gone particularly well. Write down some goals for 2017.

2 – Read

Whether blog posts, novels or newspapers, make time for reading things you find interesting and inspiring, without any pressure. Combine your reading time with a cosy blanket, a hot water bottle and your favourite hot drink. You could even make time for a snooze. Finding a storybook that you’d like to read with your class can be an enjoyable task and help you to feel like you’ve achieved something.

3 – Listen

If you’re planning to travel over the Christmas holidays and it involves a long plane, train or bus journey, plug into a podcast or two to help you destress and shut out the Christmas rush. Find some that are for pure pleasure, and some with an educational angle.

4 – Play

While it’s important to recharge your batteries over the Christmas break, be sure to have some fun too. Play board games with your family, throw sticks for your dog, or play with the new gadgets you received as presents over the festive holiday. You can even check out some of the latest educational games as a bit of research for the classroom, as long as it’s not a chore.

5 – Balance

While it’s tempting to feel pressured to catch up on marking over the holiday, there’s an equal pressure to leave it and relax. In fact, the pressure to relax can become a stress in itself. Accept that there are some things you have to do, and that relaxing doesn’t have to mean doing nothing. Set aside some time for you, whether it’s going for a walk alone or visiting friends. Be realistic and set some small tasks to get done before you go back to the classroom in January.

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